TMJ TMD Symptoms?… 10 million Americans are estimated to experience clinically significant symptoms of TMD
Do you have pain in your jaw?
Does your Jaw Click?
Does it hurt when you eat?
You may be suffering from TMJ problems…
Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and movement of the jaw. These disorders have been incorrectly called TMJ in the past, which stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the joint affected by the disorder.
What Causes TMD?
The cause of TMD is not clear, but dentists believe that symptoms may be the the result of Grinding or clenching the teeth, which puts a lot of pressure on the TMJ problems with the muscles of the jaw or with the parts of the joint itself.Injury to the jaw, temporomandibular joint, or muscles of the head and neck – such as from a heavy blow or whiplash – can cause TMD. Other possible causes include:
- Dislocation of the soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket
- Presence of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ
- Stress, which can cause a person to tighten facial and jaw muscles or clench the teeth
Common symptoms of TMD include:
Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide
- Limited ability to open the mouth very wide
- Jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open- or closed-mouth position
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth (which may or may not be accompanied by pain)
- Difficulty chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite – as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
- Swelling on the side of the face
How can Chiropractic help Temporomandibular Disorder?
Cervical spine/ TMJ connection
When a patient has a true TMJ structural problem, they almost always have cervical problems. The jaw is intimately related to the neck. The anterior muscles of the neck are the mandibular suppressors or depressors, so the muscles that bring the jaw down are the same muscles that bring the head down. Therefore, if these muscles become contracted due to TMJ dysfunction, they alter the biomechanics of the cervico-thoracic spine thus causing dysfunction and pain. It has been well established that cervical spine disorders are predominant when TMDs are present and that Cervical Spine Disorders have a greater likelihood of being the primary pain mechanism than the TMJ alone.
Forward Head Posture
A common theme between Chiropractors and Dentists is the relationship between the jaw and posture. Forward head posture has been identified as being a more significant co-factor than occlusions in patients with TMD. Anterior neck muscles play a key role in the tension on the jaw. Chronic over activity of the front of the neck will weaken and inhibit the deep neck flexors, providing the perfect formula for forward head posture (FHP). FHP is consistently implicated in the cause of jaw disorders including TMD .
Muscle imbalances of the masticatory system, neck and upper torso/ Pain from surrounding TMJ musculature
Temporal pain may be related to hyperirritable (trigger) points referring from the traps, SCM, splenius cervicis, semispinalis, suboccipitals or the temporalis itself.
Loss of jaw opening often results from one of the following: muscle imbalance, muscle imbalance alone, or acute muscle and/or chronic myofascial tightness. Any of these causes may be helped by manual muscle therapy and Chiropractic manipulation.