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Help for TMJ in Royal Oak

Jaw pain in young adult womanIf you experience clicking, popping or pain in your jaw, you may have temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome or temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD).

How a Jaw Should Function

Your jaw should track and open nice and smooth. You shouldn’t feel any clicking or popping or like you’re deviated on one side or the other. Your jaw should come down easily when closing it. You also should be able to do the three-finger test: being able to put three fingers in your mouth without any pain.

Other Symptoms of Jaw Problems

Usually, the number one symptom people have that there’s something wrong with their jaw is they will feel pain or soreness in their jaw. This discomfort also can lead to headaches and neck pain. When you have an issue with it, that’s when you have the syndrome or dysfunction.

Your Jaw’s Daily Workout

Difficulty chewing is another sign that you may have a jaw problem. A person may say, “I can’t open my mouth to eat the sandwich; it’s hard to chew.

You don’t think about it, but every time you talk or chew, your jaw is continuously being used. It’s one of the hardest working joints in your body. Your jaw is used about 2500-3000 times a day on average. Because it’s constantly moving, it doesn’t get the rest that it needs.

What Are the Causes of TMJ Issues?

Causes of TMJ can vary widely. These include the following:

  • Waking up with jaw pain but not knowing why it’s hurting
  • Eating hard foods such as pizza crust or steak
  • An injury such as a bump to the head
  • Dental work that requires the mouth being open for an hour or more

If your jaw is not in a good position, it can drop down and cause issues with pain. When diagnosing TMJ, we’re not just looking at the jaw but also the cranial bones, the neck and the shoulders as they’re all connected.

See a Dentist

The first thing we recommend is seeing a dentist as a problem with a tooth might be affecting your jaw. Your dentist may recommend wearing a bite guard or an appliance at night, particularly if you grind your teeth. If you’re a teeth grinder, your jaw isn’t getting the break it needs. That’s why you’ll wake up with a sore jaw.

Getting to the Root

While heat, ice and pain relievers all can provide some relief to your TMJ pain, those things mask the symptoms. Chiropractors want to look at the root cause. We don’t want to give you a bigger bandage. For example, we want to determine why your jaw is tracking wrong or causing pain. We also can work hand in hand with your dentist for optimal results.

How Chiropractic Can Help

With chiropractic, we want to make sure your jaw is in the proper position. We can address the temporal bone and the mandibular bone, and will adjust all the different cranial bones. We use a tool to gently adjust any areas of the skull and put them in the right position.

Specific Adjustments

While the jaw is clenched

We would have you clench your jaw, so we adjust to prompt the muscles to relax. Then, we would ask you to open your jaw to make sure the tracking is in the right position. We want to ensure you can deviate your jaw from the right side to the left side, so all the muscles and ligaments are feeling good and not causing tension.

Through the roof of the mouth

While you open your mouth, we can adjust from the inside of the jaw too to make sure it’s in the right position.

The Neck-Shoulder Connection

If you are having an issue with your jaw—say your left side, and then tell us that your neck is always tight on the left side or your shoulder is always tight on the left side—that’s a connection point. We want to make sure we address your jaw but also want to adjust your neck and your shoulders.

The Cranial Sacral Component

If your sacrum (your tailbone) is off, it can directly put tension on your cranium. If you tuck your chin down, for example, you can feel how it pulls the whole body. You have to make sure your pelvis and your entire tailbone area are stable, which, in many cases, actually helps the jaw.

Book an Appointment

If you’ve been putting up with jaw pain, and have tried getting relief without any success, help is available. Contact our Royal Oak practice today to schedule an appointment!
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TMJ Treatment Royal Oak MI | (248) 616-0900