By Dr. Dawn McElgunn | Chiropractor Victoria BC
What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a small joint in front of the ear (temporal bone) that connects the lower jaw (mandible) and all the muscles that surround it.
What causes TMJ pain?
There are many causes for TMJ pain and dysfunction, including recent dental work, misaligned teeth, clenching, grinding, stress, poor posture and excessive chewing (gum) to name a few.
What are the symptoms of TMJ syndrome?
The symptoms of TMJ syndrome include tenderness and pain in the jaw and facial muscles, clicking, popping, and locking of the joint with normal movement, and inability to open the jaw normally. Pain in the sinuses, ears, teeth, cervical spine and shoulders can also occur. Prolonged TMJ syndrome often leads to headaches, ringing in ears, dizziness and dental problems.
How can a chiropractor help my TMJ pain?
Chiropractic treatments for TMJ syndrome include trigger point therapy, adjustments of the cervical and thoracic spine which help release muscle tension, distraction of the jaw, and home care such as strengthening and stretching exercises and self massage.
It is also recommended that you:
- Avoid extreme jaw movements, and resting chin on hands.
- Avoid clenching, grinding, and chewing gum.
- Practice relaxation techniques.