When most people hear the acronym TMJ, they think of their dentist. But a chiropractor can also give patients the help they need. TMJ stands for the Temporal-Mandibular Joint, which is where your jaw (mandible) contacts/connects with your skull (temporal bone).
The most common symptoms associated with TMJ dysfunction are pain with chewing, clicking or popping of the jaw. But many other symptoms can be caused from TMJ dysfunction including: headaches, fatigue, sleep disturbances, irritability, a loss in focus, ringing in ears, head and neck tension, sinus congestion and ear infections.
Causes of TMJ dysfunction include blunt trauma to head/neck, fall/ hit onto chin (commonly seen in children), slip/fall on tailbone causing compensatory effects up the spine and into the cranial bones, whiplash/car accidents, and prolonged desk work/forward head posture.
Understanding the relationship between proper function of the upper cervical spine and cranial bones and TMJ is critical. Chiropractors are trained in identifying and correcting these areas of dysfunction. Specific chiropractic adjustments to correct misalignment of the spine and TMJ are essential to restoring structural balance and providing symptomatic relief. If left uncorrected, dysfunction can lead to grinding of teeth, facial asymmetry, additional stress upon the spinal column, and an increase in current symptoms.
Minnesota Chiropractic Association