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What is TMJ?

Woman with mouth painThe temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint connection between your jaw and your skull. This is an especially important joint that opens and closes your mouth, acting as a sliding hinge that allows for up and down and side-to-side movement. It is also involved in chewing, yawning, singing, yelling, etc.

What causes TMJ dysfunction?

The TMJ, is considered one of the most complex joints in the human body due to its complex movement pattern. There are a variety of causes linked to TMJ disorders such as: trauma, arthritis, autoimmune disease, dental surgeries, infection, and repetitive teeth grinding. These different forms of stress can increase wear and tear of the cartilage between the joints and cause inflammation to the muscles around the jaw.

Signs you have a TMJ Disorder

Normally when you open and close your mouth, there should be a nice smooth motion without too much side-to-side movement, rigidity, or pain. If you open your mouth and notice side-to-side movement (as if your jaw is slipping off the hinge), loud popping, ratchet like movement, or pain, then it is likely you have a TMJ disorder. In the beginning, it generally starts out it with a little popping, clicking, and tenderness. As it progresses it may affect your ability to open your mouth or chew your food.

Blair Chiropractic and TMJ Disorders

The jaw and neck articulations may not appear to be connected at first glance, but the body is one interconnected machine. A Blair Chiropractor will not only study the individual parts, but also how they are working together as one functioning unit. The focus of Blair Chiropractic is to detect and correct the Upper Cervical Misalignment, which involves abnormal function of the neck muscles. In some cases, the neck muscles simply give up their job to stabilize the neck leading to abnormal compensating of other areas in the body. When the neck shifts out of its normal position it may also cause a pinched nerve or herniated disc, which obstructs the connection between your cervical nerves and muscles.

When an Upper Cervical Misalignment takes the neck muscles off-line, the jaw muscles may step in to attempt to provide backup stabilization of the neck. The TMJ was not made to do this, and now the jaw muscles are working overtime to not only perform their primary job, but to hold the head up as well. This can overload the TMJ and all its surrounding tissues causing damage from too much overtime work!

The Blair Chiropractic Technique focuses on correcting the Upper Cervical Misalignment and restoring proper head and neck balance and systemic function to the nerves and muscles of the body. Blair Chiropractors may also work with other health care professional that focus on TMJ disorders, such as dentists, to ensure the best possible result.

TMJ Los Angeles CA | (213) 399-7772