Dr. Jennifer Sheppard, our board-certified Oklahoma City TMJ chiropractor, offers help for patients with jaw problems. Throughout her years of practice, she encountered different people who believed in TMJ misconceptions and myths.
Sad to say, the false and misleading information they knew hindered their recovery and caused more pain and suffering. For this reason, we thought of debunking some of the common misinformation about TMJ disorders, so no one falls for fake news ever again.
#1. You need surgery if you have a TMJ disorder
Surgery should be the last option considered when it comes to seeking relief from TMJ problems. That’s because, while it can potentially alleviate your pain, surgery puts you at risk of developing complications.
Dentists only recommend a TMJ surgery when all available remedies have been exhausted, such as oral splints, pain medication, and muscle relaxants.
Be sure to ask your TMJ doctor or dentist for other possible alternatives if you’re not keen on getting surgery. Moreover, discuss the procedure’s pros and cons and know the least invasive surgical options that you can try.
#2. TMJ is a disease
Another thing our Oklahoma City TMJ chiropractor wants to clear up is the confusion between TMJ and TMD. Most patients would use the terms interchangeably when they actually mean different things. Take note that TMJ refers to the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint) while TMD refers to the jaw condition (temporomandibular joint disorder).
#3. TMD doesn’t cause headaches or ear pain
TMD causes varying symptoms ranging from excruciating jaw pain to debilitating headaches and ear pain. However, studies explain that headache is among the top complaints of patients diagnosed with TMD. Roughly 67.3 percent of TMD patients experience this symptom.
Meanwhile, earache or otalgia is another symptom that most people with TMJ pain report to their doctor or Oklahoma City TMJ chiropractor. A 2014 study shows that ear pain among TMD patients can last for a few hours or several days.
#4. Only a handful of people have TMD
Do you often find yourself crying or feeling frustrated because of jaw pain, headache, ear fullness, and locked jaw? Unfortunately, millions of people in the country also have the same situation. Kids, working professionals, and aging adults can potentially develop TMD because of certain risk factors.
#5. TMJ disorders can only result from injuries or trauma
Studies indicate that TMD cases usually stem from accidents or neck or head trauma. However, these two aren’t the only potential reasons behind TMJ pain. Sometimes issues like a bad bite or teeth grinding at night can become a TMD trigger. Moreover, it can also result from a cervical subluxation, an issue that our Oklahoma City TMJ chiropractor can help you with.
#6. TMD is nothing serious
Studies rarely associate TMD with deaths or urgent hospitalization. However, that doesn’t mean that you should take it lightly. If you fail to get your TMJ pain sorted out, it can lead to worse problems, including:
- Chronic neck pain – Muscle numbness or stiffness along the cervical spine can occur because of TMD. It can also indicate that your TMJ problem results from a cervical bone misalignment.
- Sleep deprivation – When you get diagnosed with TMD, pain becomes a regular part of your life. It also tends to impact your sleeping patterns when the aching occurs during bedtime.
- Malnutrition – A swollen or irritated TMJ can prevent you from enjoying your usual go-to food products like carrots, celery, nuts, and meat. Chewing hard and fibrous products can lead to a nightmarish situation where you can’t help but grimace and tear up a little.
- Weaker immune system – Naturally, when you don’t get enough sleep or nutrition, your immune system (along with other organs and tissues) weakens. It can also leave you susceptible to health conditions such as obesity, heart problems, and arthritis.
- Dental problems – Many patients diagnosed with TMD have teeth grinding, enamel erosion, and cracked teeth. If you also observe these health concerns, we recommend talking to your dentist.
#7. No jaw clicking means you’re free from TMJ disorder
Each TMD case is different. That’s why sometimes, the absence of a clicking sound in the jaw can indicate that a patient is finally out of the woods. However, there were also cases where TMD persisted even when this sign didn’t exist at all. The best TMD remedy for you at this point is to consult with a healthcare professional and get an accurate and detailed diagnosis.
See an Oklahoma City TMJ Chiropractor that Cares
Indeed, TMD patients like you need to be familiar with a lot of things about the condition. This way, you can avoid getting misled by false details such as those we mentioned. Additionally, learning about your situation allows you to tap into practical and sustainable remedies for TMD, such as upper cervical chiropractic.
Are you looking for a new and promising way to relieve TMJ pain? If yes, we suggest scheduling an appointment with a TMD chiropractor near you. By doing so, you can get your neck bones assessed for cervical subluxation.
If you wish to take advantage of the benefits of upper cervical care, we recommend scheduling a consultation with Dr. Jennifer a soon as possible.
Ready to work with our Oklahoma City TMJ chiropractor? Connect with Precision Chiropractic and schedule your appointment. You may reach us at 405-378-3100 or leave us a message through our online contact form.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Sheppard, call our Oklahoma City office at 405-873-8134. You can also click the button below. If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.