Natural Family Health Care
It hurts when you talk, yawn or chew. The pain can be constant or intermittent and varies in intensity at times, but the condition can really drive you crazy. If you have Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, called TMJ for short, you know exactly how this feels. Your temperomandibular joints connect your lower jaw to your skull, right below both ears, and they consist of bones, muscles, and nerves.
Symptoms of TMJ include a locked jaw (the inability to open your mouth), popping and clicking sounds with jaw movement, chewing problems, headaches, facial pain, earache, and dizziness. Treatment options may include:
• Resting the jaw, keeping the teeth apart as much as possible to avoid wearing them down. Soft foods that require reduced chewing are recommended, as are liquids. Chewing gum and hard crunchy foods (i.e., candy, raw vegetables, and nuts) are best avoided.
• Ice/heat application – to reduce inflammation and pain and relax muscles.
• Stress management techniques, such as biofeedback and talk therapy, as TMJ is often stress-related.
• Prosthesis to wear while sleeping to prevent teeth gnashing and grinding.
• Dental correction of abnormal bite – orthodontics (braces), dental restorations and realignment of bridges and crowns may correct dental abnormalities that contribute to TMJ.
For many, chiropractic care has proven to be helpful in alleviating the symptoms of TMJ. We can locate spinal misalignments and conduct appropriate range-of-motion and mobility tests. We can often create a care plan that does not rely on the use of medications or surgery to correct your condition. We emphasize a return to full mobility and a multi-disciplinary approach if needed.