TMJ Dysfunction Treatment or TMJ Syndrome Treatment

Dr. Oscar Noriega DC

TMJ DYSFUNCTION TREATMENT OR TMJ SYNDROME TREATMENT

The temporomandibular joint or TMJ is the sliding hinge joint connecting your mandible or lower jaw bone to the skull. It’s located on both sides of your head, in front of your ears, and is responsible for opening and closing your jaw to let you eat and speak. Chiropractic adjustments offer a safe and non-invasive form of TMJ treatment. This article will cover common questions such as:

  • How to cure TMJ permanently
  • TMJ symptoms
  • TMJ exercises

WHAT ARE TMJ DISORDERS?

TMJ disorders are the health problems associated with your jaw that cause tenderness to the joint and pain, and compromised movement of the jaw joint and surrounding muscles. Women have a higher tendency towards TMJ disorders than men. Though TMJ disorders are treatable, the diagnosis is difficult as there are so many possible causes. 

How is TMJ diagnosed?

There are no standard tests to diagnose TMJ. We will examine your jaw for signs of swelling or tenderness and may perform various imaging tests like:

  1. Jaw x-rays
  2. MRI of the jaw to locate any jaw structure problems
  3. CT scan to examine the joint and bone tissues

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction may become chronic if left untreated.

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorders?

The most common symptom is a pain in the jaw and surrounding muscles and may appear on either or both sides of the face. Depending on the severity and cause, other symptoms or pain areas may include:

  • Facial or neck pain
  • Clicking and locking of jaw joint
  • Limited jaw movements
  • The TMJ site emitting a clicking or popping sound
  • Locked jaw
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Jaw muscles stiffness
  • Jaw shift that changes the upper and lower teeth alignment called malocclusion
  • Pain in the ear, mouth, face, or jaw
  • Toothache
  • Cracked or tender joint 
  • Locked joint
  • Muscle spasms
  • Headache 

What causes TMJ disorders?

A jaw or joint trauma is the main cause of TMJ disorders. However, other health conditions can also lead to it. They include:

  • Joint erosion
  • Arthritis
  • Structural jaw problems since birth
  • Repeated grinding and clenching of teeth

Other possible factors that are associated with the development of TMJ disorders are:

  • Poor posture straining the neck and face muscles
  • Orthodontic braces
  • A poor diet
  • Lack of sleep
  • Prolonged stress

WHAT ARE TMJ TREATMENT OPTIONS?

Dr. Oscar Noriega DC will use chiropractic adjustments to help ease TMJ symptoms by:

  • Manipulating the jaw joint so that it moves freely
  • Relieving any tension near the jaw muscles
  • Bite guards
  • Medications only provide temporary relief

In addition to chiropractic care, the following self care therapies or measures also help with TMJ treatment:

  1. Eating soft foods for some time
  2. Taking painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicine
  3. Wearing night guards to prevent teeth grinding
  4. Avoiding chewing gum and anything tough
  5. Jaw-stretching exercises for improved jaw movement
  6. Applying ice to reduce the swelling
  7. Physical therapy
  8. Stress reduction
  9. Splint
  10. Relationship techniques
  11. Mouthguard
  12. Acupuncture
  13. Prosthodontics

You may have to visit our clinic a few times for complete TMJ treatment. It is important to treat TMJ symptoms early; otherwise, TMJ surgery may be required.

You may be recommended to wear a mouthguard for teeth grinding as well as a mouth guard for TMJ syndrome treatment. Sometimes temporary pain reliever medications like a muscle relaxant, sedative, nerve pain medication, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or analgesic may also be prescribed.

Can TMJ disorders be prevented?

It may not be possible to prevent TMJ disorders, but you can reduce symptoms by reducing stress through exercise, diet, and counseling. Besides wearing night guards, stress reduction also helps you naturally stop the habit of grinding your teeth. 

BOOK AN APPOINTMENT

Request an appointment online by calling us on (615) 867-7693

You can also use the online booking tool below

LET US HELP YOU WITH TMJ DISORDERS

Content Reviewed by
Doctor of Chiropractic