The temporal bone that attaches your skull to your jaw is something that most people don’t even think about until something feels wrong with it. You can feel it working by pressing your fingers in front of your ears and opening your mouth. That wiggling you feel is a series of ligaments and tendons called the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ.
When this joint becomes misaligned, it’s referred to as TMJ Syndrome, and it can bring with it a wealth of unpleasant symptoms which directly interfere with your quality of life. What many people don’t realize is that a chiropractor can often help realign this ailment and give you back a measure of control over your life. Discover the important relationship between chiropractic and TMJ Syndrome treatments, and how a chiropractor can reduce or even eliminate your jaw pain.
TMJ Syndrome results when your TMJ joint is out of alignment. In minor cases, people experience difficulty opening their mouth wide, and can hear (and feel) a clicking or popping sound and sensation when they open or close their mouth. In more severe cases, the jaw may lock up temporarily. Other reported symptoms and associated illnesses include:
- Hearing loss
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Swollen throat
- Pain in the eyes, ears, face, shoulders, neck, cheek and jaw
- Blurred vision
- Dizziness and vertigo
- Throat infections
- Stuffy nose and congestion
- Ear infections
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Cardiovascular issues
- Emotional disorders
Sadly, it is estimated that up to 78% of the public suffer some level of dysfunction in their TMJ.
What Causes TMJ Syndrome?
One primary cause of TMJ disorder can be malnutrition. This is a major cause of TMJ among young children. Other causes can be poor posture, dental work including orthodontic treatment, accidents and trauma resulting in injury, and spinal subluxations (misalignments). Something as simple as a child falling off their bike can cause a spinal or pelvic imbalance that, over time, affects many bodily systems, including their temporomandibular joint.
Treating TMJ Traditionally
The standard approach to treating TMJ by doctors and dentists include muscle relaxants, painkillers, mouth guards to avoid tooth grinding at night, massage, and soft food diets. Restorative dentistry, orthodontics, and physical therapy can also be used. In extreme circumstances, jaw surgery may also be necessary.
Chiropractic and TMJ Syndrome
Chiropractors take a different approach to TMJ. Rather than invasive surgery, drugs, appliances or other artificial interventions, chiropractors focus on a whole body approach to health and wellness. Since TMJ is often caused by a spinal subluxation, adjusting the spine and cervical bones to relieve this unnatural pressure can relieve or even correct your TMJ issues.
In fact, an unhealthy jaw alignment can put stress on the rest of your spine, opening the door to a range of other illnesses. There are many documented cases of chiropractic care for dental problems that allowed patients to alleviate symptoms and recover their body’s natural healing processes.
If you’re in the Woodbridge, VA, area and you’d like more information on how chiropractic care and TMJ syndrome go hand-in-hand, contact ACT Wellness Center; we can help. Give us a call at 703-491-9355, to schedule an appointment or for more information today!