Jaw Pain: What is TMJ and TMD?
If you place your fingers in front of each ear and open your mouth you can feel movement in your jaw joint. This is where your skull’s temporal bone attaches to your mandible or jaw bone, called the temporomandibular joint or TMJ.
When this joint is misaligned it is called Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction or TMD. TMD is a condition where this joint becomes inflamed or irritated. It can be extremely painful. Your ability to chew, talk & swallow food or even yawn is a result of your jaw acting like a hinge to connect your mandible with your skull. This joint happens to be one of the most commonly used joints in your body. TMD results when the disc gets out of place or when the surrounding muscles and tendons become annoyed.
The results are: a grinding or crunching sound when an individual opens or closes their mouth, the opening and closing of your mouth will get painful or difficult, tenderness and pain around your joint directly in front of the ear, an inability to fully open the mouth, clicking or popping when eating or talking, the jaw may even temporarily lock up.
TMD can be caused by things like:
- Trauma to the head/jaw or neck
- Dental work where the mouth is open for a prolonged period.
- Habitual gum chewing or nail biting
- Teeth grinding
- Dental problems
- Occupational tasks
These events cause the tendons and muscles in the upper neck and jaw area to displace vertebra in the upper neck or displace the TMJ itself. The result is further irritation and symptoms such as pain, headaches, earaches, dizziness, muffled hearing, and not being able to move the jaw freely. If not treated immediately, TMD may lead to severe problems.
Chiropractic Treatment for TMD here at Hart Chiropractic Center
At Hart Chiropractic Center we focus on treating TMD through gentle adjustment, massage, and pain relieving exercises that help to correct the TMD naturally.
Can Chiropractors Really Help You with Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)?
Chiropractic treatment happens to be most often looked at as something patients do when they are suffering from back pain. However it might also help with a number of different pains, such as TMD. Since chiropractic adjustment happens to be good for disorders that are mechanical in nature it is very effective with TMD.
We focus on correcting the cause of the TMD dysfunction by gently re-aligning the jaw itself using low-force techniques. Prior to treatment we will complete a full postural analysis focusing on your upper neck and examine your jaw joint. Treatment plans might include chiropractic adjustments of your upper neck and/or jaw area.
Depending on severity, patients may receive instant relief or might have to have a series of adjustments over a couple weeks to get relief. Most of the time, the longer a patient waits to visit a chiropractic doctor for treatment, the longer the recovery time. A lot of the time, chiropractic adjustment is proven to be more effective than drugs and medicines. Not only is it more effective, it helps patients through treatment that is gentler, cheaper, & does not include the potential for bad side effects.