Tempomandibular joint disorders (TMD) refer to a broad range of problems associated with the lower jawbone and surrounding muscles. The lower jawbone is able to open and close with the help of hinge-like grooves on each side. Individuals suffering from TMD, however, may experience difficulty opening their mouth. These jawbone locks up and either gets stuck in place or makes a “popping” noise as it moves back into the desired position.
Many people mistakingly refer to their lower jawbone problem as TMJ rather than TMD. TMJ is actually the name of the joint – temporomandibular joint – used to open and close the lower jawbone. If you or someone you know is experiencing pain, inflammation, difficulty opening or closing the mouth, or other related problems around the jaw and surrounding area, the correct diagnosis is TMD rather than TMJ.
The truth is that no one knows exactly what causes TMD. Both men and women of all ages are susceptible to this condition, although women tend to have a slightly higher risk. Doctors have identified certain factors that increase one’s risk of developing TMD. They include nighttime teeth grinding, arthritis, physical injury or trauma to the lower jawbone, and children who keep a pacifier for long periods of time are at a greater risk.
So, how can a chiropractor help treat TMD? If an individual developed TMD from a cervical spine problem, then a series of manual adjustments and alignments might be the answer. The cervical spine can and will affect the temporomandibular joint. If there’s a bulging disc or if it’s knocked out of alignment, the individual may experience common symptoms of TMD. These symptoms may include ringing in the ear, headaches, difficulty chewing and problems opening and closing the mouth. A professional chiropractor could offer some relief by aligning the cervical spine back into the correct position.
You might be surprised to hear that nearly 1 in 3 Americans experience some type of TMD. The condition may only cause the individual to experience a light “popping” noise in the lower jawbone once in a while, or it may create severe pain and discomfort. Either way, TMD isn’t something you should be forced to live with. Thankfully, chiropractic services are known to be highly effective at treating the condition without the use of prescription drugs.
Make an appointment with your chiropractor today to see what services that offer for TMD. A professional chiropractic will typically first go over your condition to identify any hidden causes or underlying factors. Making changes to your diet and/or lifestyle could have a dramatic impact on your TMD condition. In addition, manual adjustments and alignments may also be recommended.
TMD is an uncomfortable and sometimes even painful condition that can greatly lower one’s quality of life. Some people go throughout their lives with TMD, but thankfully there are treatment options available. Talk with your chiropractor to see what course of treatment they recommend for your TMD.Share