As I’m sure you know, there is incorrect medical information to be found on the internet, which makes it no surprise that snake oil TMJ disorder treatments are plentiful. Part of this is because there are people marketing to TMJ disorder patients who have absolutely zero knowledge of the jaw – they are purely trying to make money off the fact that we are in pain and looking for a way out.
Here are five of those snake oil remedies…beware of anyone pushing these types of treatments on you. In fact, anyone who has to hard sell you on their TMJ related product, probably doesn’t have such a great product to begin with.
- Cilantro – eating cilantro does not help TMJ disorder. I’m sure you are not surprised to hear me say that. 😉 There is a belief that it helps with metal toxicity, but TMJD has never been associated with metal toxicity in the first place.
- NICO (Cavitations) – Cavitations are claimed to be holes in the bones where teeth have been removed. People who believe in this advocate removing teeth that have had root canals, which does not help TMJD. Furthermore, cavitations have not been scientifically proven to exist.
- Removing Gluten – Eating a gluten free diet to help TMJ disorder has not been proven to make a difference. At this point the only reason to eat gluten free would be if you have a medical reason (ie: celiac disease).
- Acai Berry Juice – Again, this has not been proven to have any effect on jaw pain. Keep in mind that food items like this do not have to be FDA approved to make claims, so many claim they can cure tons of illnesses, even if they can’t (or aren’t sure what they can do).
- Getting rid of stress – Stress in and of itself does not usually cause TMJ disorder, so removing it from your life will not also remove TMJD. Many patients feel as though stress is a contributing factor to their jaw pain, and when they have stressful periods, their jaw pain can often be worse. However, in my experience as a patient I have always felt that my TMJD does not miraculously disappear when I am less stressed.
It is important to remember that, at the moment, there is no cure for TMJ disorder. Any article, blog, doctor, or person claiming that there is, could be pushing remedies like the ones above. Most patients find that the best course of action is one of conservative, non-invasive treatment with adequate pain management and self-care. Do keep in mind that everyone is different, so what works for another patient, may not work for you.
As a smart TMJ disorder patient said to me yesterday, “I have tried many different solutions for my jaw pain, but there is no one thing that works. The best thing so far has been a combination of many things that each give me some relief.”
Have you been scammed? What is the craziest thing you have ever heard “cures” TMJD?
Laughter is good medicine! At times I think we are all so bogged down with the reality of TMJ, that we can’t see the forest for the trees! 2 + 2 ? 5 (incase the symbol doesn’t translate, insert “does not equal”)!!! Thank you for reminding me to find the humor in it…
I had a chiropractor use an “activator” to try and adjust my TMJ joint back into place. She would place the tip of the activator on my cheek in front of my ear and punch the thing into my skin. It didn’t hurt and only gave a mild vibrating feeling, but after several treatments I realized it did absolutely nothing– it was pointless! Further research has convinced me the entire “activator method” of chiropractic is a bunch of tom foolery and certainly should never be used for TMJ!
Definition: An activator is a handheld instrument that looks like a combination syringe and a pogo stick. It has a hard rubber foot with an adjustable spring tensioner which presets the applied force. When pushed down it delivers a small controlled mechanical shock or “punch” to the specific area it is in contact with.
In my own personal experience, I have found that when I am under stress, my jaws do tend to be in a lot more pain. My own personal definition of those bad days is as follows: “it literally feels like somebody is standing on my head & face, while somebody else is trying to squeeze my brain outta my ears & nostrils.” The ONLY way to relieve the pressure, is by crying! I HATE TMJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I get tired of hearing – “just quit clenching or grinding your teeth” – implying that every tmj issue can be blamed or entirely solved on that alone. I did finally stop clenching after jaw was more aligned/stable and muscle problems addressed.
I had a dentist try to sell/make me a TMJ appliance. He said it would get rid of my “TMJ”, and tried to show me that I had less range of side to side motion with my jaw by restricting my jaw movement manually with a clamp of some sort and asking me to move it side to side. My jaw motion is fine. I experience no pain whatsoever and while I understand a TMJ appliance can help keep you from grinding down your teeth, all the research I made refutes any other claims he made. I feel like a lot of huxsters are trying to over-diagnose TMJ and basically run off with people’s money. Inadvertently, this might hurt people who actually have TMJ