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The #1 Thing Dentists Miss For TMJ
That old door in your house….always kind of hard to open and close.
Is the door jam rubbing?
Is the door handle messed up?
Are the hinges old?
Is the door not aligned correctly?
There are a variety of things that could be wrong with a door that does work correctly. I learned this first hand.
My parents recently renovated their home which meant replacing a lot of bedroom and bathroom doors. I soon learned that replacing a door isn’t as easy as just putting the hinges back together.
Sometimes you need to use some shims, make sure the door handle works properly, check the hinges, make sure the door is the correct size, and I’m sure there are some things that I’m missing.
Every door has a hinge that can open and close. In the human body there are a lot of joints, all that move in some sense or fashion…just like a hinge on a door.
One of those joints being the Temporomandibular Joint…or TMJ.
When people hear the word TMJ they automatically think of pain or discomfort. Either because they experience that themselves or know someone that deals with it.
There are tons of things people can do when it comes to TMJ pain, probably the easiest being some simple exercises you can find HERE from Healthline.
What Else Though?
I personally think it’s safe to assume that if someone has experienced TMJ issues for a long time they already know stretches and most likely do them on a regular basis.
The next thing that can be done, which I see all the time in my office is some sort of mouth guard that is worn at night. A lot of people often clench their jaw and grind their teeth at night. The mouth guard can help relax the muscles and also make sure that there isn’t a bunch of damage being done to the teeth.
In regards to the joint, there is a small disc that helps with the smooth movement of the jaw as well as some shock absorption. Sometimes this disc can become dislodged causing a popping noise as well as some pain. If pain is experienced doctors will sometimes perform surgery to fix the issue, if there is no pain then it is left alone.
If your jaw muscles are ungodly tight I have actually heard of people getting massages on the outside and inside of their mouths. When I was in Chiropractic College we had to do this actually and to my surprise I remember it feeling pretty good actually. I can only imagine if your jaw muscles are super tight how helpful this might actually be.
Is there an actual cause?
If you’re reading up to this point I’m sure you have already heard of everything we went over…heck probably even medications being thrown in there.
How come almost everything that’s been mentioned is basically a bandaid?
Meaning it’s just a way to cover up the discomfort/pain.
Something I have always tried to focus on is what is the actual problem going on causing people to experience certain symptoms?
There is no doubt that a lot of symptoms people experience are multifactorial….meaning there can be a variety of reasons they are experiencing something.
Dentists and other practitioners do a great job with a lot of the main things with TMJ as we have already gone over.
Remember that door from earlier?
And how in order for it to work there has to be a wall it attaches to?
Yeah well the jaw is very similar…there is another side to the jaw completely. Meaning the area where it attaches to.
The jaw attaches to the skull, and this is where a lot of people miss things. Most people think the skull is static, or that it never changes position. Well the head or skull can definitely be stuck a little crooked.
Check out the video below and try doing the same exact thing.
What did you notice?
That depending on how your head was positioned, your jaw felt very different and your teeth hit each other in a different way than normal.
Imagine if your head or skull was always sitting a little off or not how it’s supposed to…would there potentially be a problem?
At The Specific Chiropractic Centers we work with the top 2 bones in the neck. This might seem like it has nothing to do with the jaw or TMJ. What’s interesting about this is the top bone in the neck, C1 or sometimes called the atlas bone, is the only thing the skull or head sits on. Where the skull attaches to C1 is a sloped surface and the bone that C1 sits on also has a sloped surface.
If we have a misalignment of this top bone, then suddenly the head or skull can be sitting a little bit crooked. This may cause the jaw to not work how it’s supposed to, or be just a little bit off. You can do all you want to the jaw and the TMJ area but if the skull is stuck and sitting crooked then it’s just going to be a bandaid.
Think about our door again. If we were going to hang a door in a door frame but where we are connecting the door isn’t 100% straight and squared up, there is no way the door is ever going to fit how it’s supposed to. This is exactly what we’re talking about as well, think of the skull as the door frame and the jaw as the door. If the skull is crooked there’s going to be some sort of problem there.
By working with the top 2 bones in the neck and making sure everything is working properly it allows not only the nervous system to be at 100% but also that things in the upper neck area are lined up properly. This, in turn, allows the skull or head to be sitting upright, fixing this nagging jaw issue you may be experiencing. If you’re someone that has tried everything for jaw pain, well this might be a good option to fix that discomfort for good. Feel free to contact us and we will set you up with a complimentary consultation. It will allow you to check out the office, we can learn more about you and do some simple tests, and ultimately see if you’d be a good fit for the office.
Here are a few more posts on how chiropractic care can help those who suffer from headaches and/or migraines.
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