Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
Do you have headaches ,neck pain, ringing in the ears, or pain into the jaw/teeth? Did you know your temporomandibular joint or jaw could be the cause?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or jaw joint is a two hinged joint that allows for complex movements to allow you to eat, talk, yawn and do things with your mouth. You have two TMJ joints, one on each side of your head. The TMJ is comprised of:
🔹Muscles of chewing
🔹Tissue behind the disc
These guys have to work together and work well to ensure smooth movement. Your body is a great compensator so if things begin to change, your body will adapt and this can create dysfunction or disorders. Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) can cause a lot of persistent pain into the head and neck. These are a lot more common than you would realize.
The jaw is quite complex and has four basic movements:
– Protrusion – jaw moves forward
– Retraction – jaw pulls backward
– Elevation – jaw rises
– Depression – jaw drops
Within these basic movements there are also two functional ones as the TMJ move together:
Ask yourself the following and you may have some TMD or the start of one.
🔹Look in the mirror. When you open and close your mouth, does it open straight or does it move to one side?
🔹Does your jaw click, pop or make sounds?
🔹Do you grind your teeth at night?
🔹 A lot of headaches and nothing seems to help?
🔹 Do you have ringing in your ears?
🔹 Do you have deep seated tooth pain that the dentist has cleared?
All these things can arise from Temporomandibular disorders (TMD). A lot of TMD is caused by lifestyle habits and things that can often be easily changed. Keep in mind the following can have a negative impact on your TMJ health:
– Chewing gum, gummies, hard candies or hard nuts
– Chewing on a pen
– Eating tough or red meat often
– Bruxism (grinding your teeth)
– Chewing only on one side
A good clinical health history and a proper TMJ assessment can help you with TMD or prevent yourself from having pain or symptoms with your TMD.