TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint disorder. It affects up to 10 million Americans but often goes undiagnosed. TMJ can cause discomfort and difficulty with the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement. It might not sound like much, but when you consider how much we use our jaws daily for talking, eating, and yawning, it’s clear how impactful TMJ can be.
Contact One Life Chiropractic in Katy, Texas, if you suffer from TMJ pain. Our dedicated chiropractors, including Nathan D. Gomez, DC, Guadalupe Lee, DC, and Brian Riggs, DC, specialize in evaluating and treating TMJ disorders. We offer practical and noninvasive treatments to alleviate your symptoms.
Do you have TMJ disorder?
Here are 10 signs you may have this condition to help you get a better handle on what to look out for.
Pain or tenderness in your jaw
This is one of the most common indicators of TMJ. The temporomandibular joint is a hinge-like structure where your jawbone meets the skull. The joint allows you to chew, talk, and yawn.
Pain or tenderness in the jaw can be a sign of TMJ because the disorder often causes discomfort in the muscles and joints associated with jaw movement.
Difficulty or discomfort while chewing
Eating should be one of life’s simple pleasures, not a source of pain. TMJ disorder can be caused by muscle tension, such as clenching or grinding your teeth. This tension makes chewing more difficult and possibly painful.
Aching facial pain
TMJ disorder isn’t limited to just your jaw. TMJ could be the culprit if you’re dealing with persistent face pain. The temporomandibular joint can be damaged by physical injury or conditions like arthritis. Damage to the joint can cause constant achiness.
Locking of the jaw joint
If your jaw gets stuck open or closed, that’s a pretty clear sign something isn’t right. The temporomandibular joint is a complex structure that includes bones, muscles, and a cartilage disc. It should move smoothly, allowing you to open and close your mouth easily.
If the cartilage disc becomes displaced or there’s a muscle spasm in the joint, it can be difficult to open and close your mouth.
Pain around your ear
Because of their proximity, ear and jaw pain can often go hand in hand with TMJ. The joint is located just in front of the ear, and problems with it can cause referred pain to the nearby area, including the ear.
Headaches or migraines
Regular headaches or migraines, primarily upon waking, can sometimes be linked to TMJ. Sometimes, this disorder involves tension or spasms in the muscles that control jaw movement. These muscles extend up into your head and face, which can lead to headaches or migraines.
Clicking or grating sounds in the jaw joint
The popping or clicking sound in the jaw that’s often associated with TMJ disorders is typically caused by the movement of the articular disc, a thin piece of cartilage that lies between the bones of the jaw joints.
If the articular disc becomes displaced, you might hear clicking or grating sounds in the jaw joint.
Changes in the way your upper and lower teeth fit together
If you’ve noticed a shift in your bite, it could be due to TMJ. The muscles that control jaw movement can shift out of place because of tension or muscle spasms, affecting how your teeth fit together.
Dizziness or vertigo
You may experience dizziness due to pressure on the inner ear. The temporomandibular joint is found near your inner ear and is crucial in maintaining balance.
If the joint is inflamed or not functioning properly, it could put pressure on the inner ear structures, leading to feelings of dizziness or imbalance.
Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
Because your temporomandibular joint is located so closely to your ear structures, any dysfunction, misalignment, or joint inflammation can impact these structures, leading to symptoms such as tinnitus.
How chiropractic care helps TMJ pain
Visiting One Life Chiropractic can be a beneficial part of a comprehensive treatment plan for TMJ disorder.
A chiropractor can adjust your neck and jaw to help reduce pain and discomfort associated with TMJ. This realigns the joints and relieves pressure on the nerves.
Improves range of motion
Chiropractic care can also improve jaw mobility, making opening and closing your mouth easier and reducing any clicking or popping sounds you may experience when you chew or talk.
Chiropractic adjustments can help reduce inflammation in the jaw joint, relieving swelling and tenderness.
Promotes natural healing
Unlike some treatments, chiropractic care doesn’t rely on medications or invasive procedures. Instead, it promotes natural healing by addressing the root causes of your symptoms.
TMJ can have a significant impact on your quality of life. But the good news is, there’s help available! If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, contact us today at 832-321-3452 or use our online booking form. We can provide an accurate diagnosis and start you on the right treatment plan for you.