Closed-mouthed About Your Jaw Pain?
TMJ disorder (or just "TMJ" or "TMD") is the name used for several conditions
that affect the jaw (technical term for jaw: Temporo Mandibular
Joint). Sufferers of TMJ may have difficulty opening and closing their
mouths, especially when trying to speak and chew. TMJ can also cause clicking
noises, muscle tightness, earaches and rushing or ringing in the ears, a feeling
of the jaws grinding or grating, and pain. Headaches, shoulder, and neck pain
can also be associated with this disorder and may be the first thing noticed
before TMJ sets in. Muscle spasms, tenderness and swelling of the face and neck
can also accompany TMJ.
Everyone has heard of someone being forced into orthodontic braces in an attempt
to relieve the pain and malfunction, but it is extremely costly, painful, and
takes forever. Bite guards left over from football is another "remedy".
Based on the cause of TMJ, we chiropractors think we have a better solution.
In a book called Orofacial Pain: Guidelines for Assessment, Diagnosis and
Management the author discusses that the pain felt in the jaw can be caused
by pain originating from the cervical (neck) region. Another text indicates
that muscle spasm in the jaw region may indicate cervicocranial dysfunction.
(This means a malfunction of the bones of the skull and the delicate bones
of the neck.)
Once the bones are carefully realigned, using specific, scientifically tried
and true chiropractic adjustments, the muscle spasms let up, the clicking noises
and grating quit and you can resume a normal, pain-free life.