Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) tend to be complex, and symptoms can vary widely from patient to patient. For this reason, when you seek treatment for TMD, we believe it’s best to explore many different treatment options and to customize a plan that will work best for your individual needs.
In order to do this successfully, we may need to take into account factors like your lifestyle, health history, degree of pain, and more. A comprehensive plan may include different types of therapies to help you find relief, including natural and non-invasive options. One excellent example is essential oils, and here’s why:
- Essential oils have the ability to relieve a variety of TMD symptoms.
- They’re powerful and effective for many people.
- They can be tailored to your individual needs.
- They’re a great natural option for nearly all our patients with very low chance of adverse effects.
How Essential Oils Can Help
You may be wondering how an “oil” can help with your TMD. These are not ordinary oils you find in the food aisle of a store. Essential oils are powerful extracts derived from plants that have long-used health benefits. In fact, their use has been documented in the ancient world – as many as 5,000 years ago.
Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways. Some can be applied to the skin (topically) while others may be inhaled, commonly known as aromatherapy. Depending on the oil used, you may be able to do both for a powerful, soothing effect.
And although they are natural, you should familiarize yourself with which oils may help you and how to use them for best results. In addition, pregnant women should not use essential oils, and they should be used with caution (and very sparingly) on children. If you’re not sure which oils to use and are interested in using them to help with TMD, we can provide you with guidance and recommendations as part of your comprehensive TMD treatment plan.
What They Treat
You’ve probably already heard of some of the oils we use to help patients with TMD. In fact, you may have used them without knowing it. Some natural bath and body products contain essential oils that make the product smell nice and/or enhance the action of the product.
For instance, if stress is contributing to your TMD symptoms and causing grinding, we typically recommend oils that encourage relaxation, such as lavender. If you have nasal congestion from allergies or a cold, eucalyptus can be very helpful. If you’ve ever used a vapor rub for a cough and cold, it most likely contained eucalyptus and camphor. Peppermint is a popular oil that can be applied topically and inhaled to alleviate headaches and jaw pain. It may also be used for muscle aches on the body.
It’s easy to find some of these oils at stores and online – but the quality of the oil is very important. You need to ensure they come from a reputable company that only sells 100 percent pure oils, and the company should state where the oils came from and how they were extracted. The product should also state that it is International Organization of Standardization (ISO) certified, which is the best indicator of reliable extraction methods.
If you’re interested in more information about essential oils and other options for TMD relief, please contact our office. Each of our patients receives a comprehensive evaluation of their TMD complete with a variety of treatment options.