TMJ Chiropractor in Austin TX
Does your jaw pop, click or lock when you open your mouth too widely? Do you have pain in the jaw hinge, or what feels like a toothache when the dentist says your teeth are fine? Do you grind your teeth at night? These and other symptoms could be a sign of temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ. If left untreated, the disorder can get progressively worse and cause increasing discomfort. Luckily, you do have options for treating this tricky condition, including a natural way to adjust wayward bones and relax muscles. If you seek Austin TMJ treatment that does not involve surgery or extensive dental work, chiropractic treatment at Whitehead Chiropractic in can help.
Austin TMJ, what is it?
The temporomandibular joint system is often considered one of the most densely innervated regions of the body. The temporomandibular joint connects each side of the jawbone to the skull via a complex arrangement of ligaments, cartilage, nerves and muscles. The joint allows for both back-to-front and side-to-side articulation, but many factors can upset its proper alignment and lead to problems.
Temporomandibular disorders are thought to affect 5% of the population. Our jaws get frequent usage such as chewing, swallowing and talking. Pain referred from the TMJ can be a cause of headaches and dizziness. There is evidence that neck and spinal alignment may be partly to blame. In one study, cervical spine disorders were actually found with TMD (70 percent) more often than TMD was found alone (30 percent).
Symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ / TMD)
Symptoms of temporomandibular joint pain can include clicking, grinding, popping of the jaw, waking up in the morning with pain over your temples and painful chewing.
Many times jaw pain is preceded by an injury to the jaw or an automobile accident. The TMJ is a hinge joint, with no direct connection to the skull. During a whiplash the jaw can exceed forces of 2000 lbs. of force. This can alter the alignment leading to a derangement of the articular disc that acts to allow a normal gliding and opening of the jaw.
In some causes a sudden jolt or head trauma -- including the strain of holding your mouth open in the dentist's chair -- can dislocate the joint, but many other cases have more subtle origins ranging from congenital conditions to spinal misalignments. Common patterns of Temporomandibular Dysfunction often includes some muscles that are overactive and tight and other muscles are weak and inhibited.
It might seem odd that a spinal misalignment could cause such issues until you consider that the spine coordinates nerve signals for the entire body. Even a small misalignment in the back or neck can create muscle strain and nerve pressure in other parts of the body, including the jaw.
The problems caused by this disorder can extend far beyond simple pain and jaw trouble. The affected nerve branches also serve other parts of the face and head, so you may experience headaches, earaches, throat pain, dizziness, eye problems and more. Your quality of life could continue to sink unless you do something about the problem. And that is where our qualified chiropractor steps in.
Non-Surgical, Natural Treatment from Our TMJ Austin Doctor
While Austin TMJ sufferers try everything from tooth capping to jawbone surgery in their desperate quest for relief, we recommend that you consult our chiropractor first. Our chiropractors can detect any spinal misalignments or tension in muscular "trigger points" that may be causing or aggravating your condition.
Correction of Temporomandibular dysfunction begins with a detailed history and exam.
A series of precisely applied chiropractic adjustments can then shift misaligned bones, relaxing the supporting muscles and releasing impinged nerves. We can also massage those tense muscles that encourage your jaw to clench. Occasional maintenance treatments can then help you keep the condition under control. We will even advise you on lifestyle changes that can help you reduce your overall stress levels, since stress is a major factor in such disorders.
Dr. Wendee Whitehead has had extensive training and experience restoring normal function and relieving the pain of TMD. She combines gentle low force adjustments to restore normal alignment and muscle energy techniques to restore the normal balance. Most patients feel much improved following their first treatment.
Home exercises are prescribed and include education on proper posture and the avoidance and correction of forward head posture. Activity modifications include elimination of poor habits including lip biting, fingernail biting, biting on pencils or pens, teeth clenching,
Optimum rest position for the jaw is reported as being a position where the tongue is in the room of the mouth, the lips are together and the teeth apart.
Call Whitehead Chiropractic in Austin Today!
If you live in the Austin area and you are ready to get real help from our TMJ Austin doctor for this health issue, contact our chiropractic office today to arrange an appointment! 512-451-0115