Have you ever woken up with a sore jaw? Do you ever hear clicking when you chew? Do you find it difficult to open your mouth wide? Does your jaw ever get stuck/locked as you open it? If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is very likely that you are suffering from TMJ syndrome.
Signs May Include:
- Radiating pain in the face, neck, or shoulders
- Limited movement or locking of the jaw
- Painful clicking or grating when opening or closing the mouth
- A significant change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together
- Headaches, earaches, dizziness, hearing problems and difficulty swallowing
Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders, commonly called “TMJ,” are a group of conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement. We don’t know for certain how many people have TMJ disorders, but some estimates suggest that over 10 million Americans are affected. The condition appears to be more common in women than men.
How the Chewing Muscles and Jaw Joints Work
The structures that make it possible to open and close the mouth are very specialized and work together when you chew, speak, and swallow. These structures include the muscles, ligaments, bones, and joints of the jaw.
Five pairs of muscles allow you to open and close your mouth. They also control forward, backward, and side-to-side movements of the lower jaw. Also involved in these movements are the temporomandibular joints. Each of these important joints has two sections, connected by a disk, that make possible the hinge and gliding actions needed to open the mouth widely. Any problem that prevents this complex system of muscles, ligaments, bones, and joints from working together properly may result in a TMJ disorder.
TMJ Diagnosis and Treatment
If you have TMJ, we may recommend chiropractic treatment, massage, applying heat/ice and special exercises. In most cases, our first goal is to relieve symptoms, particularly pain. If we feel that you need special appliances or splints, we will refer you to a dentist or orthodontist for co-management. You can read some of our success stories on our website about those that have been treated for TMJ with an experienced chiropractor in Augusta GA at Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic. Remember, in many cases the pain, headaches, and other symptoms associated with TMJ disorders can be successfully treated.
A Patient’s Story: Success from TMJ
For Cnydi, her TMJ was only one of the conditions she was suffering from–she was also dealing with regular headaches and back pain.
Combined with thorough research, Dr. Huntsman administered customized treatments for Cyndi, and she was able to achieve the results she had been searching for.
“Before I came here I was suffering from headaches and mid-back pain. I had even tried physical therapy before coming here. Now, my mid-back pain is gone, including my headaches!
There have also been unexpected changes in other areas of my life—I don’t grind my teeth as bad anymore. What I love most about my care is that it is working. If I were to recommend this clinic to my friends or family I would tell them about the excellent care and excellent explanations.“
The Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic Blog is written by Dr. Mark Huntsman.
Augusta GA Chiropractors Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic provides customized chiropractic care to the Augusta, Martinez, and Evans GA communities. Visit our main website at www.georgia-clinic.com for customized chiropractic in Augusta GA.