DeBole Chiropractic – Understanding Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD)
Do you experience pain or discomfort when opening your mouth or eating?
Does your jaw pop or click when you chew?
These symptoms may be signs of a misaligned jaw caused by temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJD.
TMJD can cause a variety of issues if left untreated. Ignoring the symptoms of TMJD can lead to long-term damage.
If you suffer from jaw pain and other symptoms associated with TMJD, your first instinct might be to schedule an appointment with your dentist – but you may also want to be examined by a chiropractor. This form of joint disorder, like many others, can be worsened or perpetuated by a cervical spinal misalignment. Our experienced chiropractor, Dr. Mike DeBole, can evaluate your cervical alignment and, if necessary, make precise adjustments that help you overcome this painful chronic ailment once and for all.
The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is one of the most complex and versatile of all the body’s many joints, which also makes it unusually prone to problems. This joint connects the skull’s temporal bone to the lower jaw, or mandible, via a socket and muscles that enable it to move in multiple directions for chewing and speaking. The TMJ can be damaged or stressed by everything from habitual gum-chewing or tooth-grinding (bruxism) or a blow to the side of the head. It can also be the result of osteoarthritis.
Signs of a misaligned jaw due to TMJD
A misaligned jaw can cause a range of symptoms, including:
- Frequent jaw pain or discomfort. Pain or discomfort in your jaw could be a sign of jaw misalignment. Pain can occur when chewing or speaking and may even be present when you’re not using your jaw at all. A chiropractor can evaluate your jaw and provide treatment to help alleviate the pain.
- Clicking or popping sounds in your jaw. A clicking or popping sound when opening or closing your jaw is a common sign of jaw misalignment. This sound can occur due to the bones in your jaw not aligning correctly, causing them to rub against each other. This can cause discomfort, pain, and even lead to damage over time.
- Difficulty chewing or speaking. Jaw misalignment can also cause difficulty when chewing or speaking. This can occur when the teeth and jaw are not properly aligned, making it challenging to move the jaw as needed.
- Headaches. Headaches are another common symptom of a misaligned jaw. They can be caused by muscle tension and strain due to the jaw’s incorrect positioning.
- Teeth that don’t line up properly. Misalignment of the jaw can cause the teeth to shift or become crooked.
- Uneven wear on the teeth. Jaw misalignment can cause the teeth to come into contact with one another in unusual ways, leading to uneven wear.
- Difficulty chewing or biting. Jaw misalignment can cause pain and tension in surrounding muscles, making it difficult to chew or bite.
Do I need to see a chiropractor?
Your doctor or dentist may recommend TMJD treatments ranging from a night guard to prevent tooth grinding and stress reduction practices to dental procedures for a misaligned bite. However, it’s important to note that if the cervical alignment between the neck and back is off balance, even the best dental care may fail to provide the intended benefits. That’s why we recommend that TMJD sufferers receive a thorough cervical examination from a chiropractor, whether they’re experiencing neck pain or not.
How a chiropractor can help
A chiropractor can use various techniques to realign the jaw, including adjustments, trigger point therapy, and soft tissue massage. These techniques can help to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and improve overall jaw function. In addition, chiropractic care can help address any underlying issues contributing to jaw misalignment, such as poor posture or neck misalignment. Along with treatment, we also offer soft-tissue exercises that can be done at home to relieve pain and ensure that the jaw remains properly aligned.
Schedule with DeBole Chiropractic for your misaligned jaw
If you’re experiencing symptoms of a misaligned jaw, it’s important to seek treatment from a qualified chiropractor. At DeBole Chiropractic, we will administer x-rays and other diagnostic techniques to get a clear idea of the relationship between your TMJD symptoms and any abnormalities in your cervical spinal alignment. Gentle spinal adjustments performed with the utmost care can correct your cervical alignment, improving the balance of your skull, neck, and jaw.
We may also prescribe exercises to help you improve strength and mobility in your neck, head, and jaw muscles, along with other natural, non-invasive techniques for treating and preventing tissue soreness and tension.
Call (585) 433-5680 to schedule an appointment. We want to help free you from TMJD!