For those in the throes of TMJ Disorder, here are some ideas to consider when looking for alternative treatments in lieu of surgery:
1. Consider removing amalgams. I know of at least one person who claims that her nocturnal clenching and grinding greatly diminished after having all amalgams removed. Even though the AMA says amalgams are not harmful. A growing number of dentists disagree with this pronouncement.I'd give this idea some research and thought.
2. Consider a mouth guard. These do not work for all people, and in some cases the mouth guards actually make the condition worse. Even a study from Wayne State University claimed that mouth guards only worked at preventing clenching and grinding for about three weeks, after which time the patient grew used to the device and simply began clenching and grinding on the mouth guard, sometimes worsening their condition.
3. Practice meditation or other stress release techniques.
4. Avoid sugary foods prior to bed.
5. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulants, particularly in the hours before bed.
6. Adopt a soft diet and avoid hard, chewy, crunchy foods. There are several cookbooks out there to choose from.
7. Are you too warm at night? Room temperature and sleeping too warm might be a contributing factor to clenching and grinding.
8. Could your TMJD be caused by an allergy? There's mounting evidence that this may be possible. An allergy test might well be in order.
9. Have you recently had extensive dental work done where your mouth was hyper-extended for several hours? Your TMJD will probably resolve in a few months. Be patient and careful.
10. Is your condition a direct result of arthritis? There's growing evidence that arthritis may be the body's response to vitamin and mineral deficiencies and not an inevitable result of old age. Check it out.
11. Have you ever had whiplash? Again, this may likely be the cause of your TMJD problem. Sometimes just knowing the cause helps.
12. A new thought: are you being over exposed to electromagnetic waves? We all are in many respects, but this is an area that needs to be explored.
13. Have you tried a magnesium supplement? While there is no evidence of this treatment being helpful, magnesium supplements are incredibly helpful at stopping charley horses and other muscle cramps. Most Americans are very magnesium deficient, and tests for this condition are next to worthless. Magnesium is cheap too.
There are many reasons for this condition to develop; there are few cures. Be cautious before you commit to any procedure than is irreversible. Absolutely get second opinions, and also consult with a Homeopath and/or a naturopath. Irreversible procedures cannot be reversed, and sometimes patients are left worse off than they were before the procedure!