TMJ Disorders: Important Facts You Need To Know
Upper cervical care in Riverton, Utah helps patients with TMJ disorders. At least 10 million Americans suffer from a TMJ disorder (or TMJD). The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is one of the most actively used joints in the body. You use this joint every time you talk, chew, and eat. Any dysfunction to one or more areas of the TMJ may lead to a variety of disorders.
The collective ability of the TMJ to hinge open, close, and slide from left to right) is the reason why it is unique compared to other joints in the body.
If you experience any jaw discomfort or problems with the way your jaw is working, then analyzing the root of the problem is crucial so you can select a solution that works. Upper cervical care in Riverton, Utah is one option for you.
To help you understand better and get the right solution to your temporomandibular joint disorder, here are three crucial facts:
Fact #1 – TMJ Disorders Happen For Various Reasons
Trauma or injury to the joint is one of the most common reasons for TMJ disorders. However, the cause of TMJD is not limited to accidents along. There are certainly more. For most jaw joint or muscle problems, the exact reason is challenging to identify. For a tender or painful jaw, there are a few factors that could be causing it:
- There is possibly a problem within the joint, involving either the disc or the way the two connecting bones are moving together.
- The jaw muscles that manage it may be working improperly.
- Arthritis may be affecting the TMJ, which leads to inflammation and degeneration.
Fact #2 – Your Jaw Doesn’t Have to Be Clicking For There to Be an Issue
There are various symptoms of a TMJ disorder. The jaw making a sound is just one of them. Some characteristics of a TMJ disorder may not even be directly related to the jaw. Here are the most regular symptoms of TMJ-related problems:
- Difficulty chewing
- Jaw pain or tenderness
- Neck pain
- Facial pain
- Grating noises in the jaw joint whenever the mouth opens or closes
- Stiffening or locking of the jaw
- Inconsistencies in how the lower and upper teeth fit together
The placement of the temporomandibular joints plays a vital role in why these signs associates with TMJ disorder. These joints are incredibly close to the ear and the uppermost vertebra in the spine, the atlas. This perspective can help you appreciate and understand why symptoms like neck pain, headaches, and earaches would most often coincide with TMJ dysfunction.
Fact#3 – TMJ Disorders Have More Care Options Not Just Surgery
There are multiple methods to deal with TMJ disorders. Usually, these alternative options are what dentists or other healthcare professionals trained in TMJD often recommend.
- Bite guards
- Physical therapy for the jaw joints and muscles
- Corticosteroid injections to alleviate inflammation in the joint
- Medications, like over-the-counter anti-inflammatory or pain-killers
- Upper cervical chiropractic care
TMJ Issues Often Connect to Neck Problems
As mentioned earlier, your jaw joints sit very close to the uppermost vertebra of your spine—the atlas. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that even a slight misalignment in the upper cervical area may lead to TMJD. This proximity also explains why various other TMJD symptoms like headache, neck pain, earache are all associated with an atlas or axis misalignment.
A misalignment in the upper cervical area will spell problems for your jaw in different ways. It will affect the following parts of your TMJ:
- The muscles
Atlas misalignments lead to unbalanced muscle tension on the left and right sides of your face. When this happens, pulling to one side versus the other can affect how the jaw functions and cause abnormal movements to occur.
- The bones
If the atlas is out of alignment, it hinders the proper resting position of the jaw. As time goes by, this can cause discomfort, pain, popping sensation, clicking, locking, and other TMJD symptoms.
- The nerves
The nerves connecting the jaw joint and the muscles, originally branch off from the brainstem to link with the jaw. The atlas surrounds the brainstem protectively within it. Therefore, if this vertebra misaligns, it can irritate and put pressure on the nerves. Thus, the nerves will be unable to send and receive the right signals efficiently, and it may lead to TMJ dysfunction.
Upper Cervical Care in Riverton, Utah Deals With TMJD
Here at Balanced Chiropractic in Riverton, Utah, our upper cervical chiropractors can take care of your concerns about TMJD. Our adjustments are patient-specific.
Please understand that atlas or axis misalignments can occur in varying severity. As a result, our customized method allows for adjustments that hold in place longer and gives the body plenty of time to heal.
Upper cervical chiropractic care is a unique form of chiropractic care. If you’d like to hear more about it and confirm whether it is the right solution for your TMJ disorder, come in for a no-obligation consultation in our office. It could be your first step towards health improvement.
Please contact us by clicking here or calling us directly at 801.477.7222.
To schedule a consultation with Balanced Utah Chiropractic, call our Riverton office at 801-477-7222. You can also click the button below.
If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.