TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is where the jaw bone connects to the temporal bone of the skull. It is located just in front of the ears. This joint is quite powerful, exerting more pressure on the joint surface than on whatever is between your teeth. The TMJ is constantly at work and is in motion whenever you talk, breathe, eat, and swallow.
The TMJ can become misaligned by trauma, injury, or impact. The correct term for problems in this joint is TMD, Temporomandibular Dysfunction. Some people develop TMD due to prolonged dental procedures where the mouth is kept open for long periods of time. Sometimes, wearing braces causes TMD as the forces applied to the teeth affect jaw alignment. Symptoms of TMD are pain, popping, grinding teeth at night, clenching the jaw and locking of the joint. It can become stuck so that opening or closing the mouth is not possible.
There are 2 types of Temporomandibular Dysfunction:
Myofascial Temporal Mandibular Disorder - caused by tension, fatigue, or spasms in the muscles that open and close the mouth.
Internal Derangement of the Temporomandibular Joint - a disruption or displacement of the meniscus within the joint. The meniscus is piece of cartilage, or articular disk, between your upper and lower jaws which helps cushion and position the mandible while chewing and swallowing.
Subluxations (misalignment of the vertebrae) of the upper cervical spine are commonly associated with TMD. Chiropractic adjustments correct these underlying misalignments, restoring proper alignment and allow the body to function properly.
Manual manipulation of the muscles of the jaw. This is performed by Dr. Gerard. She will also teach you how to continue working on these points at home.
Cold Laser is helpful in reducing inflammation, pain, and swelling associated with TMJ. It also accelerates healing.
While some of the more severe cases of TMD will benefit from all the above, some may also need to wear a night splint to achieve full correction. For those situations, we work with a dentist who specializes in this type of corrective device.
If you or someone you know has TMJ problems (also known as TMD), the first step is to assessment which type of TMD you have. From this assessment, we can determine the appropriate correction. At Chiropractic Arts Center of Austin, P.C., our approach is very specific and effective. We will begin with a detailed consultation, examination, and x-rays (except in inappropriate situations), so that we know exactly what and where your underlying problem is. We would also rule out any conditions which would not be appropriate for care in our office and direct you to the appropriate type of provider if necessary. We want to know what your goals are and what you would like to do that you are currently missing out on. With the information we find upon your visit, combined with your goals, we will create a customized care plan to correct the problem. At Chiropractic Arts Center of Austin, P.C., our goal is to help you return to full function and vitality as quickly as possible.
Are you ready to see if chiropractic can help you? Contact Us for more information or Request An Appointment today! You are worth it!