TMJ Disorder: Comprehensive Chiropractic Care for TMJ

Do you struggle with the painful symptoms of TMJ disorder? TMJ symptoms can make it hard to yawn, open your mouth wide, chew, or even receive dental care.

Chiropractic Services for TMJ Disorder

Do you struggle with the painful symptoms of TMJ disorder? Headache, neck pain and tightness with TMJ symptoms it may be difficult to yawn, open your mouth wide, chew, or even receive dental care.

TMJ Disorder

The Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is on each side of the head at the top of the jaw. It is the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull and the joint at the back of the head. The exact cause of a person’s TMJ disorder is often difficult to determine, but it is usually due to a combination of factors such as genetics, or trauma, improper braces and environmental factors. In most cases, the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disease is temporary and can be alleviated through self-managed care.

 

Comprehensive Chiropractic Care for TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder can occur as the result of an injury to the jaw or from overuse. It can be due to chewing food too often on one side of the mouth or chewing too much gum, or even chronically sleeping on one side. Physical stress, such as that associated with sitting in a dentist’s chair with your mouth open for several hours, can contribute to TMJ disorder. Emotional stress is another contributing factor. Degenerative disease of the temporomandibular joint and subluxation of spinal discs and vertebrae can also contribute to the disorder, as can the wearing of high-heeled shoes or having poor posture.

Symptoms

People who have jaw pain tend to grind their back teeth which causes pain. This pain can be either a symptom of the disease itself or a side effect of other treatments and medication such as painkillers or even sleep disorders may cause bruxism or grinding.

If you have persistent pain or tenderness in your jaw or if your jaw won’t open or close completely, seek medical attention immediately. Your doctor, dentist, and temporomandibular joint specialist can discuss possible causes and treatments for your problems. Treatment of TMJ disease is necessary when the mouth doesn’t properly open and close when the jaw is being used.

The bones that interact with the joint are covered with cartilage and separated by small discs that act as shock absorbers that normally keep the joints fluid in motion. The motion of the lower jaw is a sliding movement due to the hinge effect of the anatomy of the jaw.

In some cases, the symptoms of TMJ disease may disappear with treatment, but if symptoms persist, further analysis may be required.

TMJ Pain

Chiropractic care for TMJ disorder seeks to realign the position of the jaw and can even be used in conjunction with dental treatments that attempt to correct the disorder by fixing problems with the bite. Dr. Freund works in tandem with a number of dental professionals specializing in TMJ/TMD.​ He treats TMJ disorder using the Atlas Orthogonal Technique of chiropractic services. This technique focuses on gently adjusting the atlas vertebra, the very top vertebrae in the spine. The atlas vertebra supports the head, and if the head is not in alignment, the rest of the spine cannot be in alignment either. Subluxation of the atlas vertebra can stress the entire musculoskeletal system and lead to subluxations throughout the spine.

Complementary and alternative medical techniques can help manage chronic pain, which is often associated with TMJ disease. Acupuncture specialists use hair-thin needles inserted into certain parts of the body that follow the protocol established 5000 years ago for the technique. 

You will probably need to first talk to your doctor or dentist about your TMJ problem, but if the proposed treatment does not bring enough relief, you can consult a doctor who specializes in TMJ issues.

Prevention

People with jaw pain often benefit from wearing devices on their teeth, but the reasons why these devices are beneficial are not well understood. Education and counseling can help you understand the factors and behaviors that can make the pain worse so you can avoid them. Treatment can include ultrasound, moist heat, and ice while the jaw muscles are stretched and strengthened.

Becoming aware of tension-related habits such as clenching your jaw, gnashing your teeth, and chewing the end of your pencil. Avoid excessive strain on the jaw muscles and excessive use of muscles in the face, neck, or other parts of the body. Examples include grinding your teeth, leaning on the chin chronically on one side only, and biting your fingernails. Avoid sticky or chewy foods that can trigger the disorder.

Applying warm, moist heat or ice to the face can help to relieve the pain. Your doctor, dentist, or physiotherapist will show you how to do exercises that stretch and strengthen your jaw muscles.