Click, Click, Pop, Pop! Do you hear this a lot when you eat, yawn or just simply open your mouth? Does it hurt? Have you had it for a while? If so, you could have Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ). In this week’s blog, we will discuss what TMJ is, what causes it, what can be done for the pain, and chiropractic for TMJ specifically.
What is TMJ?
TMJ is a disorder of the jaw that presents with jaw pain, tenderness and difficulty when chewing, talking, yawning, opening the mouth. Pain may present on both sides of the jaw, facial pain and around the ear. TMJ is also known to cause headaches and locking of the jaw when the mouth is open or closed because the muscles of the jaw will tighten up just like a normal tension headache.
What Causes TMJ?
TMJ could be caused from a blow to the jaw or grinding/clenching teeth form, but the main cause is typically due to arthritis or just improper alignment of the bone and joint space. Just like the bones of the back or any other bone, the jaw bone contains a joint space, and sometimes the jaw moves out of proper alignment leaving the patient in the above symptoms noted.
What Can Be Done for the Pain?
That’s simple…GET ADJUSTED! Chiropractors can and successfully place the jaw back into proper alignment. Now, a long-time sufferer of TMJ will take a lot more work, but it can still be extremely effective! There are so many different techniques for treating the jaw, and they all work. It just depends which route you want to take. Chiropractic for TMJ at our office takes a lighter approach to the jaw because it is such a delicate joint. We provide trigger point therapy and soft tissue work to help relax the muscles around the jaw. You will also have a small instrument tool called an Activator that is an extremely light adjustment and helps bring the jaw back into original alignment. These techniques have been very successful in our clinic and have helped TMJ patients tremendously!