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If you place your hands on your face, right in front of your ear lobes and open and close your mouth, you can feel your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects your upper and lower jaw.
Many Americans experience some sort of temporomandibular-related pain or even a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). In fact, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) estimates that 10 million Americans have a TMD. Additionally, around 75 percent of the U.S. population may experience one or more symptoms of a TMD. Discover why chiropractic is a viable treatment option for this common condition.
Conservative, Uninvasive Treatment
Top experts, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and NIDCR, recommend conservative, reversible treatments as the best route of action. Our doctors agree and recommend choosing uninvasive treatments first, rather than aggressive treatments, like surgery and implants, which penetrate the tissues of the face, jaw or joint.
Chiropractic treatments may alleviate some of the symptoms of TMD through manipulation of the jaw and muscles surrounding the temporomandibular joint, potentially relieving tension and pain.
Issues with the complex temporomandibular joint and its surrounding muscles and tissues can cause a variety of symptoms—and some of these symptoms on their own may not indicate a disorder. The most common symptoms are:
- Dull, aching pain around the ear which may extend to the side and back of the head or down the neck
- Difficulty or pain when biting, chewing, talking or opening and closing the mouth
- Clicking, popping or grating sound when opening or closing the mouth
- Jaw or TMJ pain
- Locking of the jaw
If you think you are suffering from TMD or can relate to these symptoms, we recommend seeking out the opinion of a chiropractor or other healthcare professional. In the meanwhile, rest the jaw when possible and to pay close attention to habits, such as teeth grinding or nail-biting, which may be worsening the pain or disorder.