The temporomandibular (tem-puh-roe-man-dib-u-lar) joint, TMJ, acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. You have one joint on each side of your jaw. TMJ disorders — a type of temporomandibular disorder or TMD — can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement.
Our approach has proven very successful in relieving many sufferers with TMJ
It has been my experience that the TMJ function is tied into the body’s biomechanical system and it reacts and responds to other dysfunctions. An example: A patient has fallen and injured the right hip, pelvis, and back. It is very common to see in an exam that many of the muscles on the right side of the body up to and including the muscles at the skull are contracting and causing a clamping down on the jaw on the right side.
After adjusting the areas of misalignment, for example, the foot, hip, spine, cranial bones, the jaw tension changes. Very often, there are misalignments in the cranial bones, atlas vertebrae (the top neck bone called C1) and other neck joints that relieve the stress and tension in the jaw. It is all connected. Adjusting the jaw is sometimes necessary after getting the body in a balanced place.
What can cause TMJ disorders?
Causes of TMJ disorders include skull injury, spinal whiplash-type injury, pelvic and sacral injury, knee injury, foot injury, poor posture, injury to the teeth or jaw, misalignment of the teeth or jaw, teeth grinding or clenching, stress, arthritis, and gum chewing.
What are the signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders?
- Pain or tenderness of your jaw
- Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints
- Aching pain in and around your ear
- Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
- Aching facial pain
- Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close your mouth.
- Ring in the ears.
- Hearing loss
- Facial pain and swelling
- Ear pain
- Eye pain
- Blurred vision
- Dental pain
- Throat fullness
- Hair loss
HOW CAN YOU DETERMINE IF YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM A TMJ DISORDER?
Look in a mirror and place your fingers in front of each ear and then open your mouth. You will feel and see the movement. If you have difficulty opening wide (you should be able to place 3 fingers in your mouth vertically), if it moves to one side, pops or shifts quickly, you have an abnormal alignment. This is called TMJ Syndrome. Avoid chewing gum. It degenerates the disc in the jaw twice as fast.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO COME IN FOR A CHECK-UP?
Immediately after going to the dentist or having your teeth cleaned. Holding your jaw open for long periods of time can stress the muscles and ligament making your condition worse.
WHAT CAN I DO TO RELIEVE MY JAW PAIN?
- Self-massage on any trigger points in and around the jaw.
- Apply a hot compress to increase blood flow to the knots or any tight muscles.
- Use ice if there is swelling to reduce inflammation.
- Make an appointment and get it checked out before it gets worse.