Condition of the Week- TMJ

[fancy_header3 variation=”blue”]The Pain of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ) [/fancy_header3]

If you’re one of those unlucky people who have TMJ Symptoms in NJ, then this article is for you. Many people typically run to their Dentist or GP when faced with TMJ problems. While this is common and good practice, many are unaware that Chiropractors are leading the way in Treatments for TMJ.

First we need to understand what Temporomandibular Joint disorder is.

The TMJ or Jaw Joint is a hinge joint connecting the mandible (jaw) to the skull. The TMJ actually contains 2 joints allowing for rotating and sliding movement. Over time, these joints wear down and many people see pain at the TMJ which affects the way you chew, yawn, speak, and swallow. More severe cases or longer term cases may including locking, clicking and major pain in TMJ region.

Specific to the TMJ Disorder, people experience mild – extreme pain, headaches and overall discomfort. As these joints continue to displace the cartilage of the lower jaw connecting to the skull, more and more damage remains. It’s often overlooked that the TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint is one of the most commonly  and frequently used joints in the body. (It moves every time you chew, talk or use your mouth at all.) The displacement creates a painful pressure and stretching of the associated sensory nerves. Not all causes are known. Some possible causes or contributing factors are injuries to the jaw area, various forms of Arthritis, dental procedures, genetics, hormones, low-level infections, auto-immune diseases, stretching of the jaw as occurs with inserting a breathing tube before surgery, and clenching or grinding of the teeth.

TMJ Symptom List:

  • Tenderness of the Jaw.
  • Headaches or Neck Aches
  • Swelling on the Side of the Face
  • Pain at or in the Ear
  • Clicking, Popping or Grating Sounds When Opening the Mouth

How do Chiropractors help with TMJ?

Much of Chiropractic treatment focuses on relieving tension in the muscles around the joints themselves—working both outside and inside the mouth, using massage and trigger point therapy.