The temporomandibular joint is the area where the jaw meets the skull. As the jaw grows through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood, complications can occur within this small joint, leading to chronic pain and other issues that affect a person’s overall quality of life. When patients experience disorders of this joint, they are said to have a temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD. Symptoms of TMD include pain and tenderness near the jaw, as well as popping or clicking in the joint when speaking or chewing. Left untreated TMJ disorders can lead to headaches, muscle pain, malocclusion, and tooth damage from grinding or clenching.
Did you know…
that TMJ problems are often exacerbated by stress? It is not uncommon for people under chronic or significant stress to clench their teeth at night while sleeping, worsening pre-existing symptoms. By adopting stress-minimizing habits, it may be possible to reduce the severity of TMJ problems and prevent them from worsening.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is it possible that I could need treatment for TMJ disorder?
Possible signs and symptoms that could indicate you need treatment for TMJ are:
- Your jaws ‘pop’ in and out of place
- Your jaws get stuck in certain positions
- You cannot open your mouth very wide
- You hear grating or popping sounds when chewing your food or speaking
- You have swelling on one or both sides of your face
- You have pain in your face, neck or shoulders when speaking, eating or opening your mouth
- You have chronic headaches or upper shoulder pain
- You frequently experience dizziness
- You have problems with your ears, such as earaches, ringing, or difficulty hearing
If any of these symptoms sound like you, Dr. Garcia can help alleviate your TMJ/TMD symptoms with chiropractic treatment.
Should I see a chiropractor for my TMJ/TMD?
Yes. Chiropractors such as Dr. Garcia can help to alleviate possible sources of tension or dysfunction in your spine. This in turn alleviates the pressure on the surrounding nerves that are responsible for causing TMJ/TMD pain. Dr. Garcia will generally focus on the cervical (neck) region of your spine, and may even focus on repositioning the bones that connect the head and neck to reduce nerve interference.
What should I expect during my chiropractic appointment a Buffalo Grove Chiropractic & Wellness?
During your appointment, Dr. Garcia will ask you about your symptoms and perform a physical exam. In some cases, diagnostic imaging such as x-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI may be required. Depending on your individual diagnosis, Dr. Garcia may opt for various spinal manipulation techniques such as specific spinal manipulation, flexion-distraction technique, or instrument-assisted manipulation. He may also use manual therapies such as trigger point therapy, manual joint stretching, therapeutic massage, or instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy. Individuals with TMJ/TMD generally require continual chiropractic care to manage their symptoms.