November marks the beginning of the Holiday season in the United States. Many people prepare to sit down with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, several million Americans will be concerned about their ongoing jaw pain as they sit down to this dinner. The Chiropractic Center of Erie and the Chiropractic Center of Longmont would like to help spread the word about how chiropractic care can help you find relief from Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder. We figured what better time to share this information than during November, which also happens to be TMJ Awareness Month.
WHAT IS TMJ?
The term TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint. It not only describes the joints between the upper and lower jaws, TMJ often refers to the disorder which presents as pain in those joints as well.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF TMJ?
According to the Mayo Clinic, many patients experience the below symptoms.
Pain or tenderness of your jaw
Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints
Aching pain in and around your ear
Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
Aching facial pain
Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close your mouth
Some patients also experience a clicking sound or grating feeling in the joints as well as the typical pain associated. Clicking sounds or grating feelings in the jaw without pain can exist without requiring treatment for TMJ.
WHAT CAUSES TMJ?
There are many factors that increase the likelihood of experiencing pain related to TMJ. Although some patients experience TMJ-related pain without the underlying cause being identified, most TMJ cases are caused by the below factors.
The disk between the cartilage and the bone erodes
The joint moves out of its proper alignment
The joint’s cartilage is damaged by arthritis
The joint is damaged by a blow or other impact
CAN A CHIROPRACTOR TREAT TMJ?
The short answer, yes! However, many people experiencing pain related to TMJ consult their dentist first. This makes sense on the surface; when you’re dealing with pain around the mouth or jaw you often talk to known experts in those areas. At the Chiropractic Centers of Erie and Longmont, we value and appreciate dentists’ opinions and work. However, many dentists recommend medications to treat the pain. In some cases, they recommend orthodontia or oral surgery to adjust your bite. What if we told you, that we’re experts in the joints and muscles in your jaw as well?
As chiropractors, our doctors can successfully treat TMJ in most cases without taking any of those steps. We focus on aligning the TM joint to improve joint alignment and function and, subsequently, normalizing the bite. Our doctors follow this up by targeting the muscles and joints surrounding the afflicted temporomandibular joints. Our Chiropractors help relax these muscles by utilizing massage and trigger point therapy. This helps ensure proper alignment. They take treatment one step further by applying Dolphin Neurostim therapy to calm the nerves and sedate pain in the area. A skilled doctor can manipulate these trigger points located throughout the neck and jaw to relieve the pain associated with TMJ and even prevent TMJ from recurring in the future.
Many people in America suffer from pain related to TMJ. They often experience pain throughout their jaws, neck, and face and this pain recurs regularly. As part of TMJ awareness month, we want to offer patients suffering from TMJ an alternative to over-the-counter medication or dental surgery. We treat TMJ without invasive procedures or harmful medication. If you’re interested in learning more about TMJ treatment in Erie or Longmont check out our dedicated service page here. If you’d like to schedule your consultation for TMJ treatment, contact us online or give us a call at 303-828-3000 or 303-772-1950.