TMJ or temporomandibular joint syndrome causes significant facial and jaw pain to those who have the condition. Dr. Lipman can provide chiropractic treatment to relieve the discomfort from the Physical Evidence Chiropractic office located in Boca Raton, Florida.
TMJ Disorder Q & A
by David Lipman, DC
What is TMJ?
TMJ or temporomandibular joint syndrome is a condition affecting the jaw, where the muscles and nerves are affected by damage to the joint connecting the jawbone to the skull. This condition causes pain while chewing or talking, clicking and popping in the jaw, tooth grinding, inflammation, and swelling. Poor posture, stress, chronic inflammatory arthritis or trauma to the jaw are factors that can increase the likelihood of TMJ developing. A patient suffering from TMJ or jaw pain can eat soft foods, avoid chewing gum, and practice good posture and stress reduction techniques at home. However, a professional like Dr. Lipman should be consulted for proper diagnoses and treatment.
What symptoms can TMJ cause?
TMJ is associated with chronic jaw pain, jaw fatigue, persistent headaches, aching around the ear, clicking noises when eating or speaking, and a locking or sticking sensation when the jaw is open wide. Some people with advanced forms of TMJ cannot open or close their mouths completely. People who have TMJ often clench or grind their teeth, especially when sleeping, resulting in uneven wear on tooth surfaces and pressure on tooth roots that can increase the risk of decay and tooth weakening. Diagnosis of TMJ can usually be made during an office evaluation, but x-rays, MRIs or CT scans may also be used to provide detailed information about the condition and function of the jaws and to look for possible causes like tooth-related issues.
How can a chiropractor help with TMJ?
When treatments like anti-inflammatory painkillers, mouth guards, eating soft food and applying heat and cold to the jaw are not effective in reducing pain, chiropractic treatment provides a non-invasive approach to reducing the pain associated with TMJ. Chiropractic adjustment to the temporomandibular joint corrects any misalignment and ease pain. This treatment is effective because it allows muscle relaxation and repositioning for a longer lasting treatment than diet adjustments or ice. The chiropractor may also stimulate trigger points in the jaw and neck to further relieve tension in the surrounding muscles and joints.