Do you suffer from pain or tenderness in the jaw when you are chewing? Do you have pain when widely opening your mouth? If so you are not alone. It is estimated that up to 15% of the population suffers from pain in and around the jaw joint. This disorder is called temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJD.
Flintridge Family Chiropractic offers expert TMJ treatment to Pasadena and La Cañada Flintridge, and we are committed to providing our patients lasting relief from a variety of health disorders.
The majority of our patients with TMJ disorder are female. Women in their childbearing years are 4 times as likely to have these problems, possibly due to hormonal changes. Women who regularly wear high heels may have postural problems that contribute to TMJD but the actual reason for such a high proportion of women having this condition is not known. Generally women are far more likely to seek treatment than men so this may have something to do with the ratio.
The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull. There is a complex system of muscles, discs, bones and ligaments that work together to allow this motion. TMJD pain interferes with chewing and speaking and has a variety of signs and symptoms including:
- Frequent headaches and dizziness
- Difficulty swallowing
- Painful clicking or grating when opening or closing the mouth
- Radiating pain in the face, neck, or shoulders
- Limited movement or locking of the jaw
- Tenderness of the jaw or jaw muscles
- Pain in or around the ear including earaches
- Hearing problems
- Difficulty opening or closing the mouth
Causes of TMJ Disorder
This joint must bear the stress of a hinging action combined with a lateral sliding motion. Very few joints in the body are required to move in this way. The bones that interact in the joint are covered by cartilage and there is a small shock-absorbing disk separating the bones to keep the movement smooth.
TMJD pain can occur for many reasons with the most frequent cause being injury to the joint. Other causes are thought to be arthritis, erosion or misalignment of the disk and misalignment of the jaw.
The Role of Stress in TMJD
Physical and emotional stress can also be a factor in TMJD pain. Chronic teeth grinding called bruxism puts considerable stress on the joint. Waking up with soreness in the jaw might be an indicator that this is occurring during sleep.
People tend to clench their jaws while under stress or when engaging in strenuous exercise as in lifting weights. Physical exercise has been found to help alleviate stress, which in turn can diminish or eliminate nocturnal teeth grinding.
TMJD Treatment Options in Pasadena & La Cañada Flintridge
Chiropractic treatment of TMJD can alleviate symptoms by correcting misalignments in the spine and re-positioning the jaw. Therapeutic exercises and correcting posture also help to improve tracking and movement.
The Journal of Oral Rehabilitation recommends examination of the cervical spine in TMJD patients, even without cervical (neck) complaints. These findings are supported by the Journal of Cranio and Clinical Oral Investigation as well.
At Flintridge Family Chiropractic, we are trained to examine your neck and jaw to determine the best course of co-managed care with your oral health physician.
With proper care and treatment of spinal disorders, TMJD patients can achieve pain relief and correction. TMJ treatment in Pasadena at Flintridge Family Chiropractic can enable the body to respond to dental changes so that care received from your oral health physician has greater and lasting results.
If you suffer from TMJD pain, call us at 818-952-0172 to set up your initial consultation and be on your way to finding lasting relief. Our doctors are proud to offer effective, whole body chiropractic treatment to the greater Pasadena area, restoring ideal balance and wellness to the lives of you and your entire family.