The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, acts like a hinge that connects the jaw bone to the skull. Dysfunction in the joint on either side of the face can be caused by an issue within the joint itself, or with the muscles that create movement of the joint. Problems with the jaw joint can take on many characteristics. Some people will experience popping or clicking in the joint, pain or tenderness in the jaw, ear aches, or difficulty chewing.
Some habits that contribute to TMJ pain include:
- Nail biting
- Propping your head up with your hand on one side
- Using your teeth for jobs they’re not meant for, like opening up bags
- Eating extremely hard or crunchy foods
- Smoking cigarettes
Working to reduce these habits can help to ease more mild cases of temporomandibular joint dysfunction. If these external solutions do not provide lasting relief, then chances are the root cause of your TMJ problems has yet to be addressed.
To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and TMJ download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.
The Spine-Jaw Connection
Upper cervical chiropractic focuses on atlas alignment. The atlas vertebra sits at the very top of the neck and in very close relationship with the joint of the jaw. Any abnormal positioning of the atlas can disturb the jaw’s ability to function properly. Atlas misalignments can cause unequal muscle tension on either side of the face, resulting in the jaw pulling more on one side than the other. This can be contributing to the pain, clicking, popping, or limitations in range of motion.
Atlas adjustments at Upper Cervical Care Edwardsville are precise and gentle. Our goal is to get to the underlying cause of your TMJ pain and dysfunction naturally. Restoring normal atlas alignment can reintroduce balance and symmetry to the face and jaw joint, leading to a reduction of the pain and problems associated with temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
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