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  • Dr. Mark Freund

How A Chiropractor Can Help Alleviate TMJ Pain

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

Did you know that chiropractic treatment can help alleviate jaw pain? Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD) is a dysfunction in the joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the head via the temporal cranial bone. At Natural Care Chiropractic in Lindenhurst, Dr. Nicole Gopaul is trained to realign the neck bones, taking pressure off one of the body’s most complex joints.

The temporomandibular joint is responsible for sliding the mandible around and opening and closing it. Consequently, it has to connect to many different muscles, and its cartilage can get worn out. People with TMJ may feel pain in their jaws, necks, or shoulders, have difficulty opening their mouths, hear clicking noises when they chew or even suffer headaches and ear pain.

TMJ disorders or TMD are known to affect approximately 35 million people worldwide! The temporomandibular joint also referred to as the TMJ, is a joint that is responsible for connecting the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull. This joint is located at both sides of the head in front of the ears, allowing us to open and close our jaw and eat and speak.

It is important to understand the difference between TMJ and TMD. While the former refers to the temporomandibular joint, the latter is the name of the disorder associated with that joint. This disease causes functional disorder and jaw pain that affects the jaw bone and associated structures, including the teeth, gums, and jaw. The exact cause of the development of TMJ disorders varies from person to person. The pain can be due to several factors, including jaw injury, arthritis, and genetics.

Some individuals with jaw pain tend to grind or clench their teeth (bruxism); however, most never develop TMJ disorders. This disease doesn’t know age. It can affect young children, adults, and senior adults the same. In most cases, the discomfort and pain associated with TMJ disorders are short-term and can be relieved with nonsurgical treatment methods and self-managed care. To effectively manage and treat TMJ disorders, it is important to know more about the condition, its symptoms, causes, and pain relief methods.

Dentists are often the doctors who identify TMJ because nighttime jaw clenching puts stress on the teeth, which could cause them to crack, eventually leading to the need for a root canal.

Dentists may provide oral appliances to keep patients’ teeth safe, but they may not be able to address TMJ at its source. Fortunately, Dr. Gopaul is proficient in the Atlas Orthogonal technique and works with dental professionals to correct jaw alignment. This gentle treatment targets the atlas vertebra, manipulating it back into position so it won’t put pressure on the neck muscles so close to the temporomandibular joint. It also helps correct subluxations further down the spine that form in response to problems in the atlas. Dr. Gopaul works closely with dentists and patients’ other doctors to ensure they receive coordinated, full-body care. If you have been unable to determine the cause of your TMJ, give us a call.

Dr. Nicole Gopaul runs Natural Care Chiropractic at 2118 East Grand Avenue, Lindenhurst, Illinois, 60046. To schedule an appointment, visit our request an appointment page or call 847-265-0600.

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