TMJ, or Temporomandibular joint disorder, may not be a life-threatening condition, but it can wreak havoc on a person's physical and emotional well-being. If you are part of the estimated 10 million Americans living with this painful disorder that affects the joint of your jaw, understanding your treatment options is imperative. With this guide, you will learn the causes of TMJ disorder and how chiropractic care can help:
Learning what is causing your TMJ is essential for determining the best course of treatment to reduce your pain and joint stiffness.
In some cases, TMJ disorder is caused by stress. The manifestation of stress can affect you physically, resulting in pressure and tension in all your joints, including the two Temporomandibular joints that allow you to open and close your mouth.
Stress and anxiety can cause bruxism, the constant clenching of the jaw and grinding of your teeth, which can lead to TMJ disorder, as well.
A misaligned bite can also lead to pain and stiffness of the Temporomandibular joint. If you have an overbite, crossbite, or underbite, you may experience pain and popping of the joint in your jaw.
If your TMJ stems from an issue affecting your bite, an orthodontic consultation will be recommended. Braces, a palatal expander, or even a surgical procedure to realign the jaw may be necessary.
Patients with bruxism should learn ways to manage their stress. Counseling and exercise are beneficial. Wearing a night guard while sleeping can also help protect your teeth and the Temporomandibular joint from the excess pressure of grinding your teeth.
If your TMJ is related to stress, you can manage the pain and discomfort with massage and chiropractic adjustments.
Massage has been proven to improve blood circulation while increasing the brain's production of endorphins. These natural chemicals instantly improve your mood, reducing discomfort and pain in the jaw.
Chiropractic adjustments can also reduce your TMJ pain. During an adjustment, chiropractors realign the spine with the neck and head. This reduces pressure on your nerves, which decreases pain, inflammation, and tension in your joints. With ongoing treatments, chiropractic adjustments can decrease tension in the jaw to reduce the pain, stiffness, and popping that stems from your TMJ disorder.
Temporomandibular joint disorder affects each person differently, but the uncomfortable popping of the jaw occurs in most patients with the condition. If you are living with TMJ pain, consider visiting a chiropractor to manage your pain and discomfort today.