What is TMJ?
TMJ is an acronym for Temporomandibular Joint, the hinge-like joint that connects the bone at the side of the head (the temporal bone), to the Mandible, or lower jaw. This joint, along with the muscles attached to that region, are what enables us to open our mouths, eat and talk. Disorders or problems with this area of the musculoskeletal structure are generally referred to as TMJ. Not all jaw pain or discomfort is a result of TMJ, but the condition is somewhat common and can be quite painful. Because it affects the nerves and tendons of the jaw, it can sometimes cause the pain to extend out to the sides of the face, the ears and the back of the head.
What Causes TMJ?
The Temporomandibular Joint is a is a unique hinge mechanism that has small, flexible disks between the bones to facilitate the sliding motion it makes. These disks help to create smooth, connected movements of the mouth and jaw. TMJ disorder occurs when these disks become damaged, eroded or knocked out of alignment. There can be many reasons why this happens, but some of the most common causes of TMJ disk damage are a jaw injury, various types of arthritis, certain diseases and chronic teeth grinding.
What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?
One of the most telling signs of TMJ disorder is constant jaw pain. The pain may also occur intermittently, such as only when you are eating or chewing. Pain from TMJ can often radiate out to the face and neck. Other symptoms include a tingling sensation or stiffness in the jaw, limited range of motion in the jaw joint, teeth that are no longer aligned the way they used to be and clicking or popping sounds when you close or open your mouth.
Can TMJ Be Healed?
TMJ can be treated in a variety of ways. Symptoms of TMJ disorders are usually temporary and they may wax and wane, depending on your physical and emotional health. The condition may be treated with pain medication, oral appliances, surgery and a variety of self-care methods for those who prefer a more drug-free, non-surgical approach. There are several suggestions that your healthcare practitioner may make to help ease the pain and discomfort of TMJ, including reducing stress levels, using ice packs, doing specific jaw exercises, limiting jaw movements and adding more soft foods to your daily diet.
Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Forrest Watts Today
If you think you may be suffering from TMJ, give us a call to set up an appointment with our highly skilled chiropractor, Dr. Forrest Watts, in Cumming, GA. Watts Chiropractic specializes in treating TMJ disorders in a non-invasive and non-medicinal way. Using techniques such as upper cervical adjustment, Orthospinology, light force manual prone adjusting technique, intersegmental traction and auricular therapy, we can quickly examine, diagnose and treat you, while also teaching you long-term strategies for maintaining your health and relieving your TMJ pain as all-naturally as possible.
Call us today at 770-886-7070 to schedule your no-obligation consultation!