How do TMJ Essential Oils Help?
Essential oils, or oils extracted from plants, have been used in clinical aromatherapy to treat pain, nausea, anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia, according to a 2020 article in the Elsevier Public Health Emergency Collection Journal. While they’ve been used for thousands of years because of their scents and properties, they’re not a medicinal cure-all—the Food and Drug Administration classifies essential oils as cosmetics because they are not drugs for treating or preventing disease, and thus, they are unregulated.
However, there is evidence that essential oils, such as lavender, have been used to reduce anxiety and sensations of pain. A 2016 study in the Hindawi Journal looked at patients with chronic neck pain, one group receiving lavender acupressure and acupoint stimulation sessions in addition to conventional treatment, the other receiving just conventional treatment. The results indicated that the group receiving lavender acupressure had a greater amount of reduced stress compared to the group that did not receive it, indicating that aromatherapy is a feasible option for a complementary treatment to conventional treatment.
As the above study explains, when it comes to incorporating homeopathy into TMJ disorders' pain management, evidence suggests that essential oils can be effective in symptom management when used in tandem with other clinically-proven methods. Penn State Hershey lists homeopathic oils as a complementary option to your overall TMJ disorder pain relief management. However, they state that few studies have examined the effectiveness of these oils. Further, a 2020 study from the Journal of Craniomandibular & Sleep Practice found that “aromatherapy massage with lavender oil was effective in the management of painful TMD conditions and limited mouth opening.” So, while a few recent studies have indicated that essential oils could be a valuable addition to your TMJ disorder treatment plan, there’s still research needed to comprehensively understand the effectiveness of essential oils in pain management.