Yorba Linda | Anaheim Hills
More than 10 million Americans may be affected by disorders affecting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).[i] Common causes of TMJ disorders include: arthritis, jaw dislocation or injury, or a misaligned bite (a problem with the way teeth fit together). The temporomandibular joint acts like a sliding hinge, connecting the jawbone to the skull. There is one joint on each side of the jaw.
The temporomandibular joint is different from the body’s other joints. The combination of hinge and sliding motions makes this joint among the most complicated in the body. Furthermore, the tissues that make up the temporomandibular joint differ from other loadbearing joints, like the knee or hip. Because of its complex movement and unique makeup, the jaw joint and its controlling muscles can pose a tremendous challenge to both patients when problems arise.
TMJ disorders can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement. It may occur when the jaw twists during opening, closing or side-motion movements.
Stress is another common factor that aggravates TMJ disorders; some people react to stressful situations by clenching or grinding their teeth. Even strenuous physical activity, such as lifting a heavy object can aggravate TMJ by causing overuse or strain on jaw muscles.
Other Possible Causes
Some people have other health problems that co-exist with TMJ disorders, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, sleep disturbances or fibromyalgia, a painful condition that affects muscles and other soft tissues throughout the body. These disorders share some common symptoms, which suggests that they may share similar underlying mechanisms of dysfunction.
What Are Common TMJ Symptoms?
TMJ symptoms can include: pain in or around the ear, headaches and neck aches, tenderness of the jaw or jaw muscles, jaw pain or soreness that is more prevalent in the morning or late afternoon, jaw pain when chewing, biting or yawning, difficulty opening and closing the mouth, and clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth.
Not everyone with these symptoms have a TMJ disorder, and not everyone with a TMJ disorder has all these symptoms. This is why, as always, diagnosis is an important step before treatment. Our spine specialists at Divine Spine Yorba Linda want to help you get to the bottom of what’s causing your TMJ. We don’t just treat symptoms; we strive to find the root cause of your head and jaw pain through our comprehensive exam process which includes digital x-rays of the neck and lower back region.
TMJ affects more than twice as many women (particularly those of childbearing age) as men and is the most common non-dental related chronic facial pain.[ii] Our Electronic Vertebral Alignment (EVA) system is safe for pregnant women and people of all ages. We use the EVA system to treat head, neck, and back pain. Our EVA treatment is a non-invasive procedure consisting of a precise directed movement to help relieve pain and discomfort and restore range of motion in the spine.
Generally, discomfort from these conditions is occasional and temporary, often occurring in cycles. The pain eventually goes away with little or no treatment. Some people, however, develop significant, long-term symptoms. Sometimes, surgery is even recommended. However, the National Institute of Health says it’s important to avoid, when possible, procedures that can cause permanent changes in your bite or jaw.[iii] This is why our non-invasive EVA system may be the right, safe option for you.
It’s a common misconception that only dentists can address TMJ disorders. Our computerized spine therapy can be used to examine and possibly treat TMJ disorders. Make an appointment with one of our friendly experts in musculoskeletal care at Divine Spine Yorba Linda to talk about tips or therapies you can try to ease your symptoms while simultaneously addressing the root cause of your pain. We serve the communities in Yorba Linda, Anaheim Hills and all surrounding cities in the Orange County area.