Optimum health should make us smile from ear to ear. But if you suffer from Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD, or TMJ, as it’s sometimes called), you may find it painful to smile. If it hurts or makes noise (pops) when you smile, chew, yawn, or open your mouth widely; if your jaw gets stuck when you open it; or if you have pain and soreness in your teeth, you may suffer from TMD. This is a group of conditions affecting the joint that connects the jaw to your head, the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ), which often manifest through painful signs.
According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), these signs include:
- Severe headaches and earaches
- Problems with hearing and painful or difficulty swallowing
- Locking or tightening of the jaw
- Face, neck, and shoulder pain that radiates
- Grating or clicking sounds when opening the mouth wide
- Facial swelling near the jaw/ear
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, it’s possible that you have TMD or are suffering from TMJ pain. For some, the pain may be temporary and decrease over time. But ongoing pain left untreated can develop into chronic symptoms that get worse as time passes, requiring physical therapy, dental guards, or even surgery. It’s important to get a diagnosis as soon as possible if you suffer from any of the above symptoms.
TMD can be caused by several things, most often from injury to the jaw area. According to a study published in a previous issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association, 1 in 3 people exposed to whiplash trauma is at risk of developing TMD symptoms. Because of the complexity of the TMJ area, it’s important to seek specialized treatment for any problem that prevents the system of TMJ muscles, ligaments, discs and bones from working together properly.
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You have only one set of teeth. Most likely, you see a dentist or orthodontist regularly to care for your teeth and gums. In between, you brush, floss, and rinse as often as possible to keep those pearly whites as white and strong as you can. But if you are suffering from painful jaw movements, sore teeth, or facial swelling near the jaw, the problem may be deeper than a simple dental cleaning. You could be required to have therapy and/or wear a dental appliance, such as a night guard.
Because the muscles, joints, and bones are involved, treatment will often involve seeing a doctor that understands musculoskeletal disorders, in addition to your dentist. This includes your chiropractor. Did you know that your doctor of chiropractic can effectively treat the cause and symptoms of TMD? It’s true.
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Dr. Newman is a Chiropractic Physician, Certified in Acupuncture, who has been effectively, safely, and compassionately treating TMJ pain and TMD for more than 35 years using chiropractic, acupuncture, and cold laser therapy. His treatments work synergistically with dental treatments, helping to accelerate results for pain-free movement. He has a network of Dental professionals that he consults with.
If you’re suffering from pain related to your jaw, had, neck or ear (TMJ/TMD), contact Dr. Newman and his team today, so they can get you on the path to living pain-free and at peak performance.
Call today to schedule an appointment for you and your loved ones: 305-666-1402