What Your Tongue Tells You about TMJThough this may be surprising, doctors can tell a lot from the color and texture of your tongue. They can tell if you are anemic, B-Vitamin deficient, Iron deficient, Magnesium deficient, and also if you have headaches. If you regularly suffer from headaches, there’s a good chance you also suffer from bruxism (teeth clenching), which a dentist can tell by examining the natural ridges of your teeth, that may be worn more on one side. What does this have to do with your teeth? When you clench your teeth, your tongue does not sit idle in your mouth but participates in the clenching. When this happens, it stiffens and adds to the pressure, which can, over time, create a reversed pie crust pinched look.

If you are clenching enough to produce this look, then you have sore and tired muscles, occasional daytime ear symptoms and possible dizzy spells from the pressure your clenched jaw joints put on your ears. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ, but it could eventually lead to the degeneration of that joint.

How to Protect Yourself from TMJ

Magnesium as a supplement can actually do wonders for your jaw and head. Magnesium is necessary for at least 300 different enzymatic reactions in your body as well as good bone health and muscle relaxation (think tongue and a good night’s sleep). Magnesium is not stored like calcium and is easily lost in periods of emotion or physical stress. When considering that bruxism is usually the result of stress, then it’s easy to see how a cycle can begin.

The adult recommended daily allowance of magnesium is around 300 mg. Natural food sources include dark green leafy vegetable like spinach and kale (which most people hate) and expensive nuts, like almonds, walnuts, and cashews. Not many people eat enough of these on a daily basis to get their necessary allotment of magnesium. Because Magnesium is not easily taken as a mineral, as most magnesium supplements tend to come with the undesirable side effect of diarrhea or loose stools, the best way to get it is with an IV or by taking magnesium glycinate. 

Magnesium glycinate as a liquid or tablet can be taken with little or no intestinal side effects. Doctors (or dentists!) will usually recommend that you take it close to bedtime so you will sleep better. High stress individuals, however, may find a benefit from taking them during the day. 

Sometimes  you will notice a difference overnight, but generally it takes 3-4 days to see a marked improvement in your symptoms.

Still Suffering from TMJ Pain?

If after taking magnesium supplements you’re still suffering from TMJ-like symptoms, such as jaw pain, restricted mobility in the jaw, or frequent headaches, you may consider scheduling an appointment. Dr. Lowrance specializes in treating TMJ, and will help to work through your health history to determine the best treatment for you.

To learn more about TMJ in Corpus Christi, please contact the Corpus Christi Center for Cosmetic Dentistry today at (361) 851-8274.