Jaw Pain: Chiropractic Treatment Options
By Sara Butler
TMJ, or the temporomandibular joint, is in your jaw. It can be the epicenter of a lot of pain and discomfort – pain and discomfort that just happens to be treatable by the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic. Here’s what every person should know about TMJ, the disorders associated with it, and the treatment options available to those who suffer from it.
What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint is formed at the juncture of the skull and jaw bone. It houses the muscles needed for chewing, acting as a sliding hinge joint that is responsible for opening and closing the mouth. It allows a person to talk, chew, and even yawn.
You may have heard of TMJ pain referred to as simply TMJ, but the truth is that TMJ refers only to the joint itself, not disorders associated with it. When pain is experienced in this joint, the dentist or chiropractor may refer to it as TMD, or temporomandibular disorder.
What Causes TMJ Pain?
The temporomandibular joint is comprised of the same things as any other joint in the body. The bones of the joint are cushioned and separated by cartilage to keep the movement of the joint smooth. When the smoothness is disrupted, then one may notice signs such as:
- Inability to open jaw all the way
The three types of pain often experienced with the TMJ are:
- Myofascial pain – This is a pain in the muscles that control the jaw, which are connected to the neck and shoulder muscles
- Internal derangement – This is also known as a dislocated or displaced disc of cartilage that cushions the joint
- Degenerative joint disease – Over time, the joint is worn down and inflamed, causing arthritis to take hold in the joint
The risk of developing issues related to the TMJ are greatly increased if there’s an injury, stress, or a person clenches or grinds their teeth often.
How TMJ is Treated
TMD pain can be treated by chiropractors who can manipulate the joint of the jaw and the joints in the neck to help resolve issues with dysfunction or restriction associated with the disorder. Ice therapy is also recommended to help control pain and inflammation. If teeth grinding or clenching is an issue, then the dentist may recommend a bite guard to help.
Dealing with disorders associated with the jaw is one of things the chiropractors at The Joint are well versed in, so if you are experiencing jaw pain, then you should discuss it with the chiropractor during your next visit!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Marietta, Ga.