Is there a better way to help an estimated 35 million Americans that suffer from lower jaw pain or discomfort? The research indicates… yes. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD or TMD) has been estimated to affect up to 10% of the U.S. population. TMJD has no gender or age limitations, but statistically women between the age of 20-40 are the most likely to be affected.
The temporomandibular joint is a hinged joint, just in front of each ear, that attaches the jaw. It is utilized thousands per times a day allowing us to speak, eat, yawn, smile and laugh. We can take for granted how marvelously our body’s function… until they don’t.
The symptoms that can be associated with TMJ dysfunction can significantly vary from person to person. Some symptoms can be very mild while others can be debilitating and may include:
• Pain with talking
• Pain with or without chewing
• Clicking or popping
• Facial pain
• Locking of the Jaw
• Tinnitus (ringing ears)
The factors involved are 1) the hinged and glide joint of the mandible, 2) the muscles of mastication: temporalis, masseter, lateral and medial pterygoids, 3) the Trigeminal nerve (CN V) 4) cervical spine trauma or stress.
Traditional treatment protocols for TMJ disorders have included appliances and splints with extreme cases utilizing steroids, Rx, or even surgery. Recently, some practitioners have utilized exercise and trigger point therapy into the muscles of mastication with some success as well. However, one of the most overlooked causes to this disorder has been trauma to the head and neck specifically the craniocervical joint (CCJ). Motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, and even dental work have been the catalyst to trigger TMJ disorders. Micro-traumas (clenching teeth, cradling phone, text-neck, etc.) can exacerbate symptoms as well. Please do not hesitate to call and see if you can be helped at our office today and avoid possible further damage to your temporomadibular joint in the future.
Our number is (541) 500-8838 or www.nwlifechiro.com