TMJ

ChiroFit

Chiropractors located in Barrington, IL

Temporomandibular joint disorders, sometimes referred to as “TMJ,” describes irritation of this joint, which connects your jawbone to your skull. Teeth grinding or injury are possible causes, and you might think seeing your dentist is the best way to treat this condition. But the chiropractors at ChiroFit in Barrington, Illinois offer effective, expert treatment for inflammation at this joint. Make an appointment with ChiroFit for comprehensive treatment that addresses the symptoms and causes of TMJ disorders. Call ChiroFit or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.

TMJ Q & A

ChiroFit

What is TMJ?

TMJ disorders aren’t one problem, but a set of conditions affecting the temporomandibular joint. This hinge joint connects your lower jawbone to the temporal bones at both sides of your head. Typically, the joint moves up and down, side to side, and forward and back. In most people, the joints slide smoothly, but in people with TMJ disorders the movement is compromised.

Injuries, arthritis, and repetitive habitual ways of manipulating your jaw contribute to pain and dysfunction. While an aching jaw may seem relatively minor, TMJ can lead to problems with speaking, chewing, and even breathing.

What causes TMJ disorders?

A number of different habits and conditions can lead to TMJ disorders. These include:

  • Teeth grinding, also called bruxism
  • Teeth clenching
  • Stress
  • Nail biting
  • Degenerative joint disorders
  • Infections or injuries to the jaw

Dental procedures during which you’ve had to keep your mouth open for prolonged periods of time or jaw manipulation during intubation for surgery can also be to blame.

What are the symptoms of TMJ problems?

Discomfort and pain in your jaw are the telltale signs you have a TMJ disorder. Jaw clicking, stiffness, or popping are also signs. Other symptoms may present as:

  • Earaches
  • Problems chewing
  • Headache
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Dizziness and vision problems

How can chiropractic help TMJ disorders?

If TMJ results in neck and shoulder pain, chiropractic care helps relieve these symptoms. But chiropractic is about treating the whole person and finding the root cause of your TMJ discomfort, not just addressing the symptoms.

Clenching your jaw and teeth grinding, for example, may be unconscious responses to pain in other parts of your body. By adjusting pressure on various nerves in the spine, the pain associated with TMJ may also be relieved. A chiropractor can help alleviate these sources of pain through gentle manipulation, and thus reduce the referred TMJ disorder.

The doctors at ChiroFit can guide you in lifestyle changes that help ease TMJ problems, such as stress reduction and certain ways of using the muscles of your jaw so as not to cause inflammation. You learn to relax the muscles of the jaw, which reduces overstimulation causing the pain.Specific exercises also retrain the muscles in the area to reduce inflammation and tension.