I am highly suggestible. Anytime anyone comes in with jaw pain the right side of mine hurts. TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint aka Jaw. The TMJ is a very complicated joint and without going into specifics it is very mobile which can make it susceptible to injury.
If you suffer with this you have probably already been to the dentist. Maybe more than a couple different dentists. You likely have a night guard and maybe a couple of other appliances. They help a lot, some or not at all. So now what? My friend, who is a dentist helped me with this post … He didn’t like my line about a couple of dentists above (but it does depend on who you see and I going to bet it wasn’t him…) He adds: “It’s all about position. Your teeth and muscles need to balance out so together with a dentist who knows how to balance the hardware and chiro helping out with the support, treatment is very successful”. He is smart so I am going to agree.
Did you have any idea that a chiropractor can treat TMJ pain? So what does that mean or look like?
Here is what I typically do with patients – I will assess the jaw opening – how far does it open, is there a click somewhere on opening or closing, is the jaw opening with a shift to one side or the other – or does it open in an ‘S’ pattern? I do a full history and examination and then…. treatment. Usually this involves treatment of the muscles including ones right on the outside of the jaw (the Masseter muscle), the temple (Temporalis) and even ones that are intra-oral (the Pterygoids) – This hurts like hell but it works. Usually in just a few treatments. I also assess the neck and upper back, work on restoring the normal curves of the spine and give exercises for the jaw and neck to improve posture. Depending upon the severity of the case we may do other things such as kinesotaping or other techniques.
Important point here – it works, it doesn’t usually take too long and it works.
Conservative care with a dentist and chiropractor can be super effective – I have a bunch of dentists referring to me now and hopefully more soon (I wrote this post upon prompting from a dentist friend in facebook-land who I actually haven’t seen in person in about 18-ish years …. now maybe eh D?)