TMJD – Jaw Pain Grinding or Clicking
Jaw Pain, Grinding, or Clicking? You may have TMJD
My fascination with the upper cervical spine and its relationship to the nervous system and whole body health has taken my career as a chiropractor down a surprising path that for me was unexpected. Any chiropractor will tell you that the bones of the upper neck are extremely important to maintain in proper motion, stability, and alignment. Serious health problems will develop when this healthy relationship is lost, including but not limited to:
tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
problems with the eyes, ears noes and throat
autonomic nervous system problems
temporo-mandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ/TMJD)
I began to notice that when the cervical spine has a subluxation (misalignment causing nerve pressure), that it was very common for a patient to have TMJD as well. Sometimes the symptoms were mild like grinding teeth at night or clicking and sometimes they would be severe like lock jaw, severe jaw pain, and broken/worn teeth. There are other health complications that go along with TMJD as well including bad posture, poor motor control and spacial awareness, migraines, sinus headaches, and dental issues.
I also began to notice that when we corrected the subluxation in the neck, the TMJD symptoms got better. This lead me to re-examine the anatomy closer and look at the structures directly connecting from the jaw to the neck, which there are many. My staff and I began to look at a bigger picture for these cluster of symptoms, and eventually would include the bones of the skull, sinus bones, neck and jaw in our assessment of the patient, including cerebral spinal fluid flow throughout the brain and spine. It has led us to incorporate parts of several chiropractic techniques with some unique innovations of our own. We have had such incredible success with TMJD and related problems that it has grown to be a large part of our practice.
At times when working to correct these problems a dentist will need to be involved for long term correction, especially if dental work has already been done to alter the patient’s bite.
I hope this blog peaks your interest, feel free to leave a question or comment or reach out to me through our website. Thank you, Dr. Paul
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