The Benefits of Chiropractic Care for TMD
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder is a painful and common syndrome that many people don’t even know they have. It starts out as a pain in the jaw, but can affect many different areas including cheeks, ears, teeth and temples. The pain can vary from a mild discomfort to excruciating pain.
In addition to causing discomfort to those who suffer from it, TMD can annoy others who have to listen to the popping and crackling of jaws as they move up and down.
Signs of TMD
TMD symptoms can occur in cycles, which can lead to trouble in diagnosing the disorder. Symptoms may come and go, but some of the signs may include any combination of the following:
Locking of the jaw or limitation in its motion; a popping noise when opening or closing the mouth; pain that radiates along the face, neck, forehead or shoulders; pain while chewing; a change in the way the teeth align; earaches or hearing problems; dizziness; trouble swallowing.
Causes of TMD
There are several reasons why a person develops TMD, but the most likely causes are a jaw injury or chronic teeth grinding and clenching. Physical and emotional stresses can also play a part in the development of TMD. Holding the mouth open for long periods of time, as in a dentist’s chair can harm the jaw. Emotional stress doesn’t lead directly to TMD, but it can encourage behaviors like grinding teeth or clenching the jaw, which can result in TMD. Women are more likely to cope with TMD. They experience it four times more than men do.
Diagnosing and Treating TMD
If your chiropractor believes that you’re suffering from TMD, you may be asked to perform chewing movements while your doctor observes your jaw joint and muscles, searching for any abnormalities or inflammation.
If it’s discovered that you do have TMD, your doctor will probably recommend some combination of chiropractic manipulation, exercise, massage and heat or ice therapy. If your chiropractor feels that you require any special appliances to treat your TMD, you will most likely be referred to a dentist who specializes in this type of disorder.
While there’s no cure for TMD, there are a wide range of treatment options available. Contact your chiropractic team to find out what can be done to help alleviate your discomfort and keep your jaw strong and healthy.
Story credit: http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=1454
Video credit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbJZXG4fsd4