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What Is TMJ Disorder?

By Madhusudhan Tammisetti

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome is jaw joint pain caused due to a variety of medical conditions. The TMJ serves as a sliding hinge that connect the jawbone to the skull. Facial muscles that help to chew are attached to the jawbone.

The TMJ consists of muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and bones. There're two TMJs on each side of the jaw. Muscles that help in chewing are also involved in the opening and closing of the mouth. The TMJ controls the jawbone, which has two movements, namely rotation, and gliding. Rotation helps in the movement of the mouth, and gliding aids in opening the mouth wider. This allows you to chew, talk, and yawn.

If you put your fingers on the ears and open the mouth, you may feel the joint's movement. The condyles, rounded ends of the jawbone, slide along the skull's joint socket when the mouth is opened. When you close the mouth, the condyles glide back to their original place. For smooth motion, a soft cartilage disk lies between the condyle and the skull. Chewing and other movements create a strong force, and the soft disk absorbs the shock reaching the TMJ.

TMJ Symptoms

Dysfunctions in TMJ may result in facial pain, ear pain, head and neck pain, headaches, problems with biting, and jaw popping or clicking sounds when you bite. Certain TMJ disorders may cause locking the jaw. People who grind the teeth or clench the jaw under stress may develop TMJ disorder. When undergoing a dental examination, people with TMJ disorder may go through a painful experience as they open their mouths widely.

Causes of TMJ

There're many possible reasons that cause TMJ disorders. Some of them include arthritis, physical injury, autoimmune diseases, clenching or grinding the teeth when sleeping, infections, and dental surgery.

Some other causes are hormonal, environmental, or genetic. For instance, compared to the general population, violinists were found to be more susceptible to TMJ disorder. As they have to hold the violin under the jaw for long periods, it can cause strain, leading to TMJ disorder.

Also, women are more at risk of TMJ disorders than men.

Chiropractic Care for TMJ

Chiropractors may help people with TMJ syndrome by relieving tension and spine dysfunction. When chiropractors relieve this dysfunction, the pressure on the nerves reduces, which, in turn, eases the pain linked to the TMJ. People suffering from TMJ need continual care to keep the pain away. Regular visits to the chiropractor may give pain relief from the ailment.

If you need chiropractic care for TMJ disorders or any other ailments, visit The Joint Chiropractic. With walk-in appointments and affordable pricing plans, you can focus on your health without any hassles.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Las Vegas, Nev.

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