When people receive a diagnosis of a TMJ disorder, also referred to as TMJD, the usual treatment path is unclear. Many patients with this condition often remember being told to “stop chewing gum,” “wait and observe if it gets better in a while,” or “stop biting your spoon.” Yet, since the TMJ is one of the most complex joints in the body, there is no benchmark recommendation when it comes to choosing the right care. Fortunately, many people already experienced TMJ relief in Oklahoma City.
TMJ disorders are not just painful. They can inhibit your ability to chew and speak. If you notice any significant concerns with your jaw, remember to get a check-up early on, so that it won’t cause any difficulties in your life later. Jaw problems can affect the quality of your sleep. It can cause sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and bruxism.
TMJ Pain – Where Does It Originate?
The temporomandibular joint or TMJ is a crucial part of the skull. The jaw joint connects the mandible (the lower part of the jaw) and the temporal bone. These are unique joints due to their ability to move about in several ranges of motion – the jaw can glide backward and forward, hinge open and close, and shift from left to right. As a result of this complex freedom of movement, we are able to do actions like speaking, yawning, and chewing.
TMJ disorders belong to three major categories:
- Arthritis in the TMJ which can be inflammatory or degenerative.
- Myofascial pain – there are significant issues with the muscles that are in charge of jaw movements.
- Problems with the jaw joint:
- Pain that is secondary to a dislocated jaw
- Injury to the condyle, part of the mandible that enters into the temporal bone of the skull
- Displaced or damaged articular disc
TMJ disorders are even more complicated to manage, especially when a person experiences more than one of these conditions simultaneously. For this reason, TMJ relief in Oklahoma City does not come so easily.
What Are Many Symptoms Related to A TMJ Issue?
TMJ disorders have effects that vary for many different people afflicted by this condition. Symptoms can also diversify based on where the issues originate. Some TMJD symptoms are more evident because they involve the jaw itself:
- Hearing popping, clicking, or grating sounds whenever the mouth is opening or closing
- Bruxism – grinding of the teeth
- Noticeable changes with the way the lower and upper teeth fit together
- Pain in the muscles that manage jaw movement (surrounding the jaw itself and further up around the ears and near the temples)
- Locking of the jaw or restricted movement of the jaw
In some cases, you may not think to associate other TMJD symptoms with your jaw problem. Why? Because initially, they may look unrelated to each other. However, if you understand how the jaw moves and functions, it’s easier to see how the following symptoms link to your condition:
- Headaches or migraines
- Neck pain
- Pain in the ears
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
The Road Towards Sustainable TMJ Relief in Oklahoma City
Countless TMJD sufferers have tried many if not all of these regular care remedies:
- Muscle relaxants
- Anti-inflammatory medicine
- Over-the-counter pain relief medication
- Mouthguards or stabilization splints
- Implementing a soft food diet plan
- Jaw exercises to strengthen and stretch
- Applying ice or cold compress
- Applying heat pads
Most of these recommendations give only temporary relief. Some medications even have harmful side effects, sometimes doing more harm than good for a few patients. People always look for a more risk-free and permanent solution to their TMJ issues.
Various people suffering from TMJ disorders already feel like they have exhausted all possible options searching for long-lasting relief. Is there a natural and long-term relief to be found anywhere?
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care: Solution for TMJ Disorders
There is another care option that more people with TMJ are now discovering. Countless patients have already experienced natural, risk-free, and sustainable relief from TMJD through upper cervical chiropractic.
This category of chiropractic focuses on the junction between the head and neck. The atlas (C1) vertebra sits at this critical spot, just behind the TMJ (very near the jaw and inner ear). If this bone becomes misaligned, it can cause various problems throughout this area. It helps explain why jaw issues most often happen in combination with the face, neck, head, and ear symptoms.
Why would the atlas (C1) vertebra misalign? Certain conditions can force the atlas bone to misalign. Such conditions include:
- Car accidents
- Whiplash trauma,
- Wear and tear over time
- Falls from the stair or ladders
- Sporting injuries involving the neck or head
The atlas misaligns more than other areas of the spine because this particular vertebra is the most freely moving segment. Understand that if the atlas rotates out of position, it can negatively influence the jaw by causing unequal pressure and tension on one side of the face. As a result, it can start irritating the nerves responsible for the muscles that control the jaw. Furthermore, it can also begin to affect postural changes that cause more strain on the TMJ.
Here at Precision Chiropractic, our upper cervical chiropractor offers TMJ relief in Oklahoma City. We make sure that the atlas vertebra realigns properly by adjusting it accurately and gently. Call our office at 405-378-3100 or use this form to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jennifer Sheppard.