TMJ

image of man in pain pressing his fingers against his jaw

The temporomandibular joint connects the jawbone to the skull. Up to 10 million people suffer from painful temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Symptoms include pain in the face and neck, locked jaw or limited jaw movement, painful clicking when moving the mouth, dizziness, difficulty chewing or swallowing and a change in the way the teeth fit together. TMD is about four times more common in women than men.

Causes

TMD has many causes, some physical, some emotional. A jaw injury, such as one caused by a car accident or being hit hard by a ball, can lead to TMD. Degenerative joint disease is another leading physical cause of TMD.

Emotional stress can cause behaviors that lead to TMD, such as clenching the jaw or grinding the teeth.

Conventional Treatment

You can manage TMD through medications or lifestyle interventions. Your doctor may recommend muscle relaxants or pain relievers. Certain types of antidepressants also relieve pain. If you clench your teeth at night, aggravating your TMD pain, your doctor might prescribe a sedative. These medications bring along a variety of side effects.

Other interventions don’t require drugs. Rest your jaws by eating soup or soft food. Avoid chewing gum. Firm or soft bite guards sometimes relieve pain, and keep you from grinding your teeth at night. Ice packs or moist heat can help. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen and stretch your jaw muscles.

If stress and anxiety are the cause of your TMD, try relaxation techniques. Mindfulness meditation, acupuncture, biofeedback, talking to a counselor or massage might help.

In extreme cases, some doctors recommend surgery to repair this joint.

Chiropractic Care and TMJ

Some patients with TMD find relief through chiropractic care. A chiropractor can manipulate your neck and jaw to improve alignment and relax muscle tension. Many chiropractors will also recommend special exercises, hot and cold treatment and other non-pharmaceutical interventions. Your chiropractor might team up with your dentist to provide the best care.

If you’re suffering from TMD, call us today so we can help ease your jaw pain.

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Testimonials

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I have had at least 4 Doctors of Chiropractic work on me. I was skeptical to have another work on me but I gave Dr. D a chance. Thank God I did! I almost forgot how it felt to be out of pain. I am on my feet all day and I can now do things I hadn't been able to do before. I realize that I have a more positive outlook as to what tomorrow will bring due to the fact that I can wake up without pain."
    Mike A.
  • "I had completely given up on chiropractic. I was going consistently for over 9 months and was actually getting worse. I was using a walker and my husband had to take me everywhere. A friend recommended that I give Dr. D a chance. He did something more than the typical chiropractor. A non force technique I think it was called. Well in a nutshell, I did go, and in a relatively short period of time I was out of my walker and able to cook and garden in my yard. I can do things I thought I would never be able to do again. My husband thanks Dr. D and I thank Dr. D for his kind caring work."
    Rose S.
  • "Dr. D took away my headache and wrist pain. I didn't even tell him that I had those problems. I came in because I hurt my low back. I can't tell you how glad I was to find the doc."
    Tonya B.