Temporomandibular joints or TMJ disorder is a painful jaw condition that affects many people. Pain can affect talking, sleeping or eating and have serious repercussions. TMJ has a variety of causes, and treatment aimed at resolving pain and reducing recurrence is best. TMJ can exacerbate other medical ailments such as a headache and tooth and neck pain. TMJ is similar to another condition known as Upper Cervical Dysfunction, and the two share overlapping symptoms, causes, and treatments. A chiropractic physician will perform a thorough physical exam and understand your history to diagnose and treat this painful condition accurately.
Jaw pain from TMJ occurs when the temporomandibular joint in the mouth is injured or damaged. Sufferers may experience pain in the head, face, ear, jaw, or mouth. This painful syndrome is caused by arthritis to the temporomandibular joint, tooth or jaw injury, misalignment to the teeth or jaw, tightness in the mouth musculature, and tooth grinding. Stress, poor posture, and gum chewing contribute to TMJ. Pain can be chronic. Tell your chiropractic physician about any mouth and head pain you have as TMJ is a treatable syndrome that can have serious repercussions if left untreated. Your chiropractic physician will review your health history and palpate muscular areas related to your pain area. Tightness in facial muscles surrounding the mouth or around the neck and upper back are frequently found in both TMJ and Upper Cervical Dysfunction. Additionally, painful joints in the mouth, throat, and head may cause or be caused by the two conditions.
The tightness of the masseter muscle and tenderness of the TMJ joint can be relieved with hands-on techniques designed to mobilize irritated joints and relax and soothe tight muscles. Inflamed vertebral units in the neck and upper back contribute to jaw pain; this region can be adjusted with chiropractic techniques to take stress off these important supportive structures and help the nervous system fully function to heal the area. Stress reduction techniques may be helpful to reduce nighttime tooth grinding. Disposable or prescription mouth guards may assist in the healing process.
Chiropractic care aimed at relieving joint and muscle inflammation, posture and balance will help the dual syndromes of TMJ and Upper Cervical Dysfunction. Call a chiropractor and headache doctor Chapel Hill, NC relies on today to get the care you need.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Acupractic Natural Healing Center for their insight into chiropractic care and TMJ.