Chiropractic Care for Jaw Pain, Clicking and Locking of the Jaw Joint
Problems with the articulations of your jaw, otherwise known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJ for short, can manifest in a variety of symptoms. Some patients experience discomfort or pain in or around the area where the jaw meets the skull, right in front of the ear. Due to the proximity of the joint to nerves traveling through the area, some patients will get earaches, hearing disturbances, and even dizziness, because the inner ear can affect balance. Other patients can even have problems chewing and speaking due to the altered movement of the joints of the jaw. Headaches are another common symptoms associated with TMJ disorders.
Many times a patient’s dentist will be the first person to identify and treat a TMJ issue. Sometimes it can be related to a bite alignment malposition. Other times it can be related to grinding the teeth at night, which irritates the joint and causes inflammation. If that is the case, often times a custom mouth guard can be created for use at night. This helps prevent the grinding and puts the mouth into better alignment, relieving pressure from the TMJ articulations. Occasionally, these approaches do not fully rectify the problem, and further treatment is necessary.
Chiropractic Care Work Mechanics of Jaw and Neck
Often times when a patient visits our office with TMJ pain, they also have a problem in the cervical spine, or neck, as well. Due to the mechanics of the jaw and neck, and the way the muscles work together, these areas are intricately related. Our approach involves not only gently releasing the joints and muscles of the jaw, but also to make sure the joints and muscles of the neck are working smoothly as well. Sometimes a postural issue is to blame for the dysfunction occurring in the neck and TMJ. In those cases physical therapy is important to help strengthen and stabilize the area. If you are suffering from any of these issues, or have had limited success in treating your TMJ problem, give us a call today to schedule an evaluation to see if we can help.