Using Chiropractic Care to Relieve TMJ
TMJ refers to a disorder of the temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. It acts like a sliding hinge that allows your jaw to open and close. TMJ can affect your jaw and the muscles that control the movement of your jaw. Our chiropractic staff at Century Center Chiropractor in Atlanta, GA, can diagnose and treat the underlying cause of TMJ in a holistic manner.
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
While the exact cause of this condition can be difficult to determine, there are a few factors that could be causing your pain. In some cases, it can be due to a combination of factors. These include:
- A previous jaw injury
- Arthritis (osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis)
- Jaw clenching due to anxiety
- Teeth grinding while sleeping
What Are the Symptoms Of TMJ Disorders?
If you are suffering from TMJ disorder, you could experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pain or tenderness in the jaw
- Pain in one or both of your temporomandibular joints
- Aching pain in and around your ear
- Aching pain in the face
- Pain while chewing
- Difficulty chewing
- Locking of the joint which can make it difficult to open or close your mouth
- A clicking or grating sound when you open and close your mouth
How Is TMJ Disorder Diagnosed?
There are a few tests that are commonly used to diagnose TMJ disorder.
- Physical exam: First, your doctor will listen to and feel your jaw while you open and close your mouth. They will also ask you to open wide in order to observe and gauge your range of motion. Finally, your doctor will press on various areas of your jaw to identify the areas where you have pain and discomfort.
- X-rays are helpful in getting a clear view of your teeth and jawbone. They are also helpful in ruling out other conditions that could be causing your symptoms.
- CT Scans provide a detailed image of the bones and the temporomandibular joint
- An MRI may be ordered to get a good look at any problems with the joint's disc and the surrounding tissue
How Is TMJ Disorder Treated?
Our office focuses on using chiropractic care to treat TMJ. Spinal manipulation can relieve tension and dysfunction in the spine, and this type of holistic care is specific to a chiropractor. This treatment modality will relieve the pressure on various nerves which can help remove the pain associated with TMJ. Another option is a mouth guard at night to prevent you from clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth while you sleep. This simple barrier will allow your jaw time to relax and heal, it will also help protect your teeth from chipping or wearing down the enamel.
While there are medications to numb the pain from TMJ, they only treat the symptoms of the disorder and not the cause. The medications can also bring unwanted side effects, trading one problem for another.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
If you are suffering from TMJ disorder, our chiropractor at Century Center Chiropractic in Atlanta can help. With regular chiropractic care in our office, the pain and other symptoms of TMJ disorder will begin to subside. You can call us at 404-634-1669 to schedule an appointment today!