TMJ stands for temporomanibular joint, and a TMJ disorder involves dysfunction in your jaw joint that causes pain. TMJ disorders bring about pain or tenderness in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles, and the pain worsens when chewing, yawning, or otherwise opening your mouth widely. The pain can travel to your ear, face, neck, or head. The discomfort associated with TMJ is often worsened with stress, as stress tends to cause people to clench their jaw or grind their teeth more, further aggravating the jaw muscles.
Causes of TMJ
While the exact cause of TMJ may not be known, it can be helpful to narrow down the possibilities in order to get the best relief from the pain. Some people have arthritis in their jaw, though this is not a super common cause of TMJ and is not likely in younger individuals. A mouth, jaw, head, or neck injury can bring about TMJ, but some people have these types of injuries without ever experiencing jaw pain of any kind. Genetics can play a role in TMJ as well, whether that just has to do with weaker jaw muscles, irregular jaw joints, or a natural predisposition to grind your teeth and clench your jaw.
Because TMJ can stem from a variety of causes, it can also manifest in many different ways. Some people experience a minor aching pain in the jaw area, while others may experience a severe throbbing and shooting pain in the same area. Some people get muscle tightness and tension in and around the jaw, neck, and head area. Most people with diagnosed TMJ also report feeling a clicking, popping, or grinding when opening their mouth wide.
How Chiropractic Can Help
A Rochester Hills chiropractor may not be the first person you think of when you imagine finding relief for TMJ pain, but you may be pleasantly surprised at how effective chiropractic care is for this type of discomfort. Chiropractors aim to get to the root of the issue, so they’ll look at the alignment of your jaw and the nearby vertebrae in the neck to determine if there is a misalignment of any kind. If there is, they can gently and precisely adjust the area, allowing the bones to shift back into alignment and the surrounding nerves and soft tissues to function more optimally. When the nerves, muscles, and joints are all in their proper place and the body is functioning well, you are less likely to experience pain, muscle tension, and overall discomfort.
Dr. Brendan Shanahan and Dr. Thomas Madigan are neurologically-based chiropractors in Rochester Hills who would love to serve you and help you find relief from your TMJ pain. Contact their office today to learn more about neurologically-based chiropractic care and to schedule your consultation