There are certain movements that we take for granted. One of those involves our mouth and jaw, which we use (and need) to eat and communicate. If you’re diagnosed with TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, doing these simple everyday movements can be quite painful. An increasing number of people have now found that CBD or cannabidiol can help with that pain.
Experts have found that CBD helps relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and relax the muscle through many trials and a wide body of research. And unlike other pain killers, CBD definitely can’t cause lethal overdose, liver toxicity, or any other life-threatening side effects.
If you want to know more about TMJ disorder and the effectiveness of CBD based on research, stay with us and keep scrolling.
Understanding TMJ: What is it?
The Temporomandibular Joint is the joint that’s located on both sides of your head, just in front of your ears, and connects the lower jaw or mandible to the skull. It’s what lets you close and open your jaw.
Nowadays, it’s commonly used to describe a group of health conditions related to the jaw. Some refer to it as:
- TMD or Temporomandibular Disorders
- TMS or Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome
Others call it TMJD or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder to distinguish it from other conditions that affect the joint.
What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?
We mentioned pain, but that’s not the only sign that you may have Temporomandibular Disorder. Whether it affects both sides of your face or just one – here are some other common TMJ symptoms that are worth watching out for:
- A tired feeling in the face
- Swelling on the side(s) of the face
- Trouble when trying to open the mouth wide
- Jaws that get “locked” or “stuck” when the mouth is open or closed
- Sudden uncomfortable bite or problem chewing because the upper and lower teeth feel like they do not fit together properly
- Grating, popping or clicking sound in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth or chewing. It may or may not be painful
Aside from the jaw joint area and face, the ache or tenderness can also be felt in the shoulder and neck area and in or around the ears whenever you open your mouth wide to speak or chew.
Other symptoms can include hearing problems like tinnitus (ringing in the ears), dizziness, headaches, and toothaches.
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
People with TMJ experience difficulty and pain when doing anything that involves jaw movements, even if it’s just opening their mouth slowly. Most of the time, the root cause of TMJ remains a mystery, but there are times when trauma to the joint or jaw is considered a factor. It can also be caused by:
- Arthritis in the joint
- Orthodontic braces
- Structural jaw problems that were present at birth
- Stress that causes facial and jaw muscles to tighten or teeth to clench
- Clenching or grinding your teeth that places a lot of pressure on the jaw joints
- Movement of the disc or soft cushion between the socket and ball of the joint
We want to clarify that these don’t cause TMJ disorder directly, but they can all contribute or play a part in some cases of it.
Treatment of TMJ
In most cases, signs of TMJ Disorders don’t disappear without treatment, so it’s important to be proactive. If you’re experiencing chronic pain or other persistent symptoms, it’s best to see a doctor so they can suggest options to treat the issue.
Left untreated, it can leave lasting effects in severe cases and may require surgery, like arthrocentesis or corrective dental surgery. However, those experiencing mild Temporomandibular Joint Disorders can make a few lifestyle changes or test out some home remedies that might be able to help manage the pain.
Some self-care tips that you can try at home to help relieve TMJ pain include:
- Reducing stress
- Correcting your posture (and other physical therapy)
- Getting better quality sleep
- Exercising your jaw muscles
- Using hot or cold compresses
- Maintaining your jaw’s resting position
- Steering clear of certain foods and activities that aggravate pain
If doing these doesn’t reduce TMJ-related pain, please reach out to your doctor.
Another option is of course taking medications. Apart from traditional pain-relievers like Ibuprofen and pain relief creams, many TMJ sufferers find that alternative and complementary medicine techniques can help. One thing that’s reported to be beneficial to TMJ patients over and over again is CBD.
What is CBD?
More commonly known as CBD, Cannabidiol is one of the most popular among 120+ chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. Unlike Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it offers a huge list of health benefits and is NOT intoxicating. It’s used to help ease many common conditions.
How does CBD work?
We have to look at the ECS or Endocannabinoid System to understand how CBD works. The ECS was detected by researchers studying THC in the early 1990s and is an intricate cell-signalling system. All vertebrates and mammals have an ECS as it maintains the body’s natural equilibrium in the face of our sometimes harsh environments.
To put it simply, whether you use cannabinoids or not, the ECS is present in your body – the cannabinoids themselves, the corresponding receptors, and the enzymes that help your body to make use of them.
Until now, researchers have been working on nailing down everything about the ECS. What we know for sure though is that it supports regulating processes and functions in our body such as our memory, mood, appetite, sleep, and even fertility and reproduction.
CBD interacts with our ECS but, unlike THC, doesn’t bind the two main endocannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). Some people think that CBD stops endocannabinoids from breaking down so they can have more pain-relieving effects on the body, while others think that CBD may bind to an undiscovered receptor.
The debate is still on, but numerous studies suggest that CBD is beneficial to a huge number of people as it helps with many common conditions and symptoms like nausea and pain.
Can CBD Help With TMJ?
Although the research into CBD is still in progress and the information about its effectiveness for TMJ is limited, a 2019 study showed TMJ patients seeing improvement after using it. An ongoing clinical trial is also looking into whether CBD can develop jaw function and offer TMJ pain relief when taken orally.
A review carried out in 2018 found that CBD works well in easing chronic pain. The researchers surveyed studies made from the year 1975 until March 2018. Each of them explored various types of pain, such as fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, and cancer pain.
They conclude that CBD was helpful when it comes to overall pain management. Plus, it didn’t trigger any adverse side effects, which is extremely promising for that coveted TMJ pain relief.
Is It Safe to Use CBD for TMJ Disorders?
With proper precautions and consultation from doctors, CBD is considered harmless when consumed by humans. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) agrees.
So does the FDA or Food and Drug Administration in the US, but they warn about buying CBD from companies that claim their CBD products are a cure-all for illnesses. Those companies undoubtedly receive warning letters from the FDA. Right now, the only FDA-approved medication that contains CBD is Epidiolex, which is used to treat two rare forms of epilepsy.
We want to remind you to talk to your doctor before taking or trying any CBD or CBD products. It’s crucial, especially if you’re already taking other medications, as CBD may interact with other drugs.
Can You Put CBD on Jaws?
Since CBD has a variety of formulations and forms, topicals can also be effective. Since the cause of your jaw pain is inside your mouth, taking oral supplements, like CBD oil (or a combination), may work better. Again, it will depend on what the doctor recommends or prescribes, including your preference.
CBD in an oil form may offer enhanced bioavailability by infusing CBD hemp oil or seed into the oil. Others find menthol-infused CBD products to be particularly soothing.
How Much CBD Oil Should I Take for TMJ?
There’s no exact CBD oil dosage to take for TMJ disorders. And if you do find one online, don’t rely on it because each of us has our own needs. What’s applicable for one person may not be useful to others.
Aside from getting support and the proper dosage instructions from a qualified doctor, you must observe if the CBD affects the aching pain or the muscle tension.
Using a dropper, put the oil under your tongue based on the measurement prescribed.
If you notice any unpleasant effects, like irritation, drowsiness, or lethargy, reduce the dosage. Then, allow more time for your endocannabinoid deficiencies to level out. If symptoms persist, it’s time to go to the doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does CBD help with grinding teeth?
Although it wouldn’t treat bruxism or completely prevent teeth grinding, CBD can help minimize it by relieving tense muscles or stress and anxiety. After all, CBD is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
How can I relieve TMJ pain fast?
If you need temporary relief for your TMJ pain, you can use a cold compress first to alleviate any pain and swelling. Once done, apply a hot compress with a thin layer of cloth between it and your skin to help increase circulation.
Why is TMJ so painful?
The TMJ works like a sliding hinge connecting our jaw to our skull. Imagine how many times you speak, eat, or yawn. If the disc gets deformed or arthritis affects the cartilage, it may become swollen. So, any jaw movement will be painful as it can aggravate the joint.
Find a Quality CBD For TMJ
You’ll find plenty of CBD products almost everywhere nowadays. But as with any purchase you make, especially with what you put in your body, be cautious by reviewing the ingredients.
In addition, instead of buying from online markets like Amazon, it’s best to buy directly from a trustworthy company that grows its own hemp. That way, you can know for sure that the company knows exactly what is in a product and exactly what isn’t. They should also be sharing where they produce them.
As mentioned before though, it’s always best to see a doctor or dentist regarding your TMJ concerns first before trying CBD oil, since CBD may have a negative drug-to-drug interaction with certain medications.
If you’re diagnosed with TMJ Disorders, you may have to get an appointment with a neurologist to identify any additional neurological symptoms and receive treatment if needed.
Before you visit your doctor, prepare any medical questions you have to maximize what you get out of the time you’re there.
The statements expressed on this website are purely opinion of the author and not factual. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products referenced on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It’s highly suggested to consult with your medical professional prior to any use of the products referenced on this website. This website and author specifically disclaim any liability in connection with the products contained on the website.