The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw or mandible to the temporal bone of the skull, which is immediately in front of the ear on each side of your head. The TMJ is responsible for motions of the jaw to move smoothly up and down and side to side and enabling you to talk, chew, and yawn. The muscles attached to and surrounding the joint control the position and movement of the jaw.
What Causes TMJ?
- Grinding or clenching the teeth, which puts a lot of pressure on the TMJ.
- Dislocation of the soft cushion or disc between the jaw’s 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.
- Direct injury to the joint from a trauma or whiplash car accident.
Common Symptoms of TMJ
- Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear.
- Pain when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide.
- Limited range of motion of the mouth.
- Jaw motion that gets “stuck” or “locked” in the open- or closed-mouth position.
- Clicking, popping, or grinding sounds when opening or closing your mouth.
- Fatigue in facial muscles.
- Difficulty chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite.
- Feeling as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly.
Other common symptoms of TMD include toothaches, headaches, neck aches, dizziness, earaches, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
How Your Woodland Hills Chiropractor Can Provide TMJ Pain Relief
Elite Sports Medicine, as a uniquely qualified Woodland Hills chiropractor, looks at your overall health, focusing not only providing TMJ pain relief, but also on your lifestyle including diet and the amount of daily exercise you get. This integrated approach to TMJ pain relief helps determine the best treatment.
To help identify the cause of TMJ pain, we will discuss your symptoms and previous injuries, your family health history, and your lifestyle, including recreational and work related physical activities.
We are uniquely qualified to restore the health of your spine, neck and extremities. Special chiropractic adjustments may relieve the pressure that is causing your TMJ pain. These adjustments can help restore alignment, improve mobility, provide TMJ pain relief and alleviate the stiffness.
We may recommend other types of treatment for relieving your jaw pain. These may include moist heat, ice packs, massage, traction, or stretching and strengthening exercises. We can discuss these with you.