Jaw pain. Clicking and popping when opening your mouth. Earaches or headaches in the temple area. Migraines. Locking of the jaw. All of these are symptoms of a condition called temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ). Sound familiar?
The pain from TMJ can range from annoying to debilitating. It can feel like your jaw is always tight or locked, your neck is constantly stiff or you always have a low-grade headache. For some it causes migraines. Others have trouble chewing. Regardless of the level or type of discomfort, it’s caused by a temporomandibular joint that isn’t working properly.
The temporomandibular joint connects your jaw to your skull and when this joint is damaged or stressed, the result is TMJ. TMJ is actually a common issue, albeit an annoying and painful one. It can be caused by teeth grinding, arthritis, chewing gum constantly (and with great vigor), a jaw or teeth that are misaligned or an injury to the area. If this sounds like you and you have a any or some of these symptoms, chances are you have TMJ.
TMJ is not cause for alarm as the condition is quite treatable with home remedies, dental gear and chiropractic. Home remedies for milder cases can be as simple as not chewing gum, icing the area to reduce inflammation, over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, massage, stretching the jaw/neck, and reducing stress.
Seeing your dentist is also a good idea because a bite that is off (or other teeth issues) could be causing your TMJ symptoms. Your dentist may recommend a night guard if he or she sees excessive wear on your teeth from grinding or clenching your jaw regularly. This is created by taking impressions of your teeth and creating a custom appliance that looks a bit like the mouth guard athletes wear.
Chiropractic is a great option to reduce the pain caused by TMJ and even eliminate the condition over time. Chiropractors treat the muscle and bone problems that can cause TMJ, working on alignment and restoring proper nerve function.
Talk to Dr. Roach and his team about treating TMJ. They will discuss your symptoms and daily habits to determine how best to get you on the road to living TMJ-free.
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