The temporo mandibular joints are the two, highly complex joints connecting your lower jaw to the skull. They are located just in front of the ear canal. You begin to understand the complexity, and thus the opportunity for dysfunction, when you understand the intricate movement that this joint allows. When you open your mouth, the first few degrees of movement are supplied by the anterior portion of the TMJ joint. As you continue to open your mouth wide, the posterior portion of the joint pitches in too. This elaborate joint, with an anterior and posterior articulation allow the jaw to open, move side to side and shift forwards and backwards. Try it and you'll see.
Injury or dysfunction in this joint can result in the obvious symptoms of jaw popping/clicking, jaw pain and jaw fatigue. Less obvious symptoms can include migraines, headaches, sinus pain, toothache and ringing in the ears. At Florida Chiropractor we diagnose TMJ problems by analyzing joint alignment, aberrant motion, muscle spasm and trigger points. Treatment focuses on correcting symmetry in movement, correcting alignment and relaxing muscle spasm and inflammation. We have had great success in helping patients with TMJ problems. Not all TMJ dysfunction can be helped by chiropractic and in these cases we refer our patients to a TMJ specialist.
For more information or to schedule a consultation with one of our chiropractors please contact us today.
Written by Dr. David Sandefur