What is TMJ?
TMJ refers to dysfunction in the temporalmandibular joint. The TM joint is located on either side of the face and is where the mandible, or jaw bone, connects with the skull. Dysfunction in this joint is caused from the chewing muscles, bite, and jaw bone not working together properly. This can be caused by a variety of issues including injury or trauma to the joint, teeth grinding, poor bite alignment, arthritis, or autoimmune conditions.
Symptoms associated with TMJ can include:
- Jaw pain
- Ear pain
- Neck pain
- “Popping” on opening and closing
- Worn down teeth
- Pain during chewing
Chiropractic Care for TMJ
Chiropractic care can help with TMJ by focusing on three main areas:
- The muscles associated with the TM joint: Often in TMJ, there is an imbalance in the muscles of the jaw from side to side. Relieving tension and restoring balance to these muscles can allow for the joint to move more freely. Focus is also applied to the small muscles at the base of the skull with are also closely associated with movement of the neck and jaw.
- The TM joint: Symptoms associated with TMJ are largely a result of dysfunction in the movement of the joint itself. Assessing the movement of the jaw side to side and applying gentle adjustments to the affected joint can allow the joint to move more freely.
- The upper cervical spine: Restricted movement in the upper cervical spine can influence the movement of the jaw as well. Additionally, the nerves that control the muscles of the jaw and face are housed in the upper cervical spine. Assessing and restoring proper motion to the upper cervical spine can help also restore function in the jaw.
Have you experienced the pain of TMJ? Has your dentist talked to you about jaw issues or jaw pain? We’re here to help you get to the root of the problem. At Thrive Chiropractic, we will work to assess and restore the function of all of the components of the TMJ. Give us a call with any questions or to schedule a consultation. You can also schedule online and fill out your forms from the comfort of your home. If you were surprised to hear that our Minnetonka chiropractors adjust more than spines and want to know more about how we offer personalized, holistic care, check out this article all about extremity adjustments.