What is TMJ DYSFUNCTION?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts as a sliding hinge joint, connecting your jaw bone to your skull. The TMJ open and closes your mouth allowing you to talk, chew food, and yawn. TMJ dysfunction is a serious disorder of the joint and muscles around it that may cause:
· Pain in the jaw, face or neck
· Stiff jaw muscles
· Limited movement or locking of the jaw making it difficult to open and close your mouth
The temporomandibular joint combines hinge action with sliding motions. The parts of the bones that interact in the joint are covered with cartilage and are separated by a small shock-absorbing disk, which normally keeps the movement smooth.
Painful TMJ Dysfunction can occur by:
· Clenching or grinding the teeth at night
· The joint is damaged by a blow or impact
· The disk erodes or moves out of its proper alignment
· The joint’s cartilage is damaged by arthritis
Most cases of TMJ dysfunction are associated with tight jaw muscles and restricted joint motion. In some cases, the symptoms of TMJ dysfunction may resolve on their own. However, if they don’t, there are a number of treatment options available. My approach to treating TMJ dysfunction is to address the tight muscles through soft tissue therapies and the joint restriction through chiropractic manipulation.
Here are the treatments that I offer for TMJ dysfunction:
· Active Release Technique
· Chiropractic adjustments
· Home exercises and stretching
· Counseling and education
If you or someone you know is suffering from TMJ pain, call today to schedule an appointment. 850-222-5362
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