TMJ it is the jaw joint and it stands for temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Every person has one on each side of his head, which links the jawbone to the skull.
When the temporomandibular joints and the surrounding area our irritated or become dysfunctional, this leads to a TMJ disorder. This article will cover some of the catalysts of TMJ. We will also look into the benefits of chiropractic care for TMJ.
How important is the TMJ?
Did you know that the temporomandibular joint directly affects necessary activities like speaking and eating? The temporomandibular joints are like door hinges that enable the jaw to complete its close and open actions. There is also a cartilage disc lodged between the joints that serves as a buffer and reinforces movement. Discomfort or dysfunction in this area can make necessary actions like talking challenging.
What are the indicators of a TMJ disorder?
These are some warning signs of a TMJ disorder:
- Jaw starts to feel tender
- Applying pressure to the temporomandibular joint results in mild or intense pain
- Ache around the face and ears
- Chewing is now a challenge
- Opening or closing the jaw produces a clicking sound
- Something seems to be ringing in your ears
- Vertigo or dizziness
What causes a TMJ disorder?
TMJ can be caused by a variety of factors. Aging can lead to the deterioration of the TMJ and the cartilage disc. Habits like chewing gum, thumb sucking, clenching the jaw, and biting fingernails can result in muscle tension and irritation in the temporomandibular joint. Identifying the primary reason helps a person maximize the benefits of chiropractic care for TMJ.
Let us look into the other possible factors that can lead to a TMJ disorder:
Accidental or inadvertent injury to the jaw can result in TMJ disorders. The jaw is susceptible to damage. An auto accident can cause whiplash or the body’s sudden movement. Smashing blows to the head are commonplace in contact sports like boxing, football, hockey and others. Such an intense impact can result in muscle and joint damage.
Slight tooth-related discomfort can ultimately lead to a TMJ disorder. When a person has crooked teeth or an improper bite, this can result in distress around the temporomandibular joint area. Instances of impacted molars and tooth decay also can trigger pain. A word of caution, though. When you see a dentist and have these tooth concerns taken care of, your dental expert can keep your jaw open longer than what you are accustomed to. This experience can also lead to a TMJ disorder or exacerbation of an existing problem.
Commonly known as teeth grinding, bruxism is not something that we can quickly pinpoint. When we are upset to the point of clenching our jaw and grinding our teeth, we might be able to get past the haze of anger and stop ourselves from doing this.
When bruxism happens when we are asleep, we might be oblivious unless someone calls us out or notices something. The force of grinding one’s teeth can lead to a headache that becomes prevalent when a person wakes up. A dentist is able to identify signs of grinding during examination.
Your temporomandibular joints manage numerous jaw movements. They vary from simple to complex. As such, the TMJs are also susceptible to arthritis due to the following:
- Infection: A general or localized disease can lead to an inflammation around the temporomandibular joint. As a result, jaw movement can be excruciating.
- Trauma: A challenging tooth removal or an insertion of a tube in the trachea can lead to temporomandibular joint arthritis.
- Degenerative disease: When the joints’ cartilage disc starts to become thin, the bone movement can become more palpable. Pain in the temporomandibular joint area becomes a possibility.
Anxiety and stress can make a person less mindful of his posture, nutrition, and general well-being. The tension can lead to tightening of the muscles around the jaw area. This may also set off clenching of the jaws and grinding of the teeth.
Improperly-aligned Neck Bones
The cervical spine or the neck is composed of seven vertebrae. The first one is called the atlas, and the second is called the axis. There are also discs lodged between each vertebra to cushion movement. The neck is the powerful link that joins the body to the head.
As the topmost vertebra, the atlas is the first to take on the weight of the head. When the structure is aligned correctly, all the processes can complete their business with no hiccups. However, minor misalignment can trigger a series of issues, which may include a TMJ disorder.
What are the benefits of chiropractic care for TMJ?
The National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) is passionate about educating people about the effects of upper cervical misalignment and its impact on their well-being. NUCCA chiropractors adopt precision and a keen focus on determining the presence of an imbalance. Once a detailed assessment has been completed, a NUCCA doctor outlines the approach to restore alignment. A series of corrective actions are undertaken to correct the misalignment.
Find out now if chiropractic care might free you of the discomfort caused by a TMJ disorder. Increasing your knowledge about this condition is a critical step in managing your TMJ disorder. A NUCCA chiropractor in your area can be your partner in determining if there is a need to realign your upper cervical spine and how it can possibly alleviate discomfort brought about by TMJ disorder.