Wednesday, August 05, 2009
A common symptom could be having a limited range of motion within the joint. You can perform a self test by holding your palm vertically with your thumb facing the ceiling. Flex your pinky finger so it is out of the way. Open your mouth as wide as you can without strain or pain and place the remaining fingers (middle, ring, and index) between your upper and lower teeth. If you cannot fit all three fingers and you experience pain, it is possible you have TMJ.
WHY DOES MY JAW MAKE NOISE
Commonly, TMJ is accompanied by noises such as clicking, grinding, or crunching when you open and close your mouth. The articular disk is fitted so that the top of the jaw can slide smoothly up and down. The clicking noise will occur when the jaw bone is not in the proper fitted position and passes over the ridge of the disk. As the bone passes over the ridge it will cause a click or pop that can lock the jaw in either the open or closed position and usually requires a manual adjustment to dislodge it back into normal working order. The grinding or crunching noises occur when there is bone on bone contact within the joint. If the articular disk is completely out of place or has worn through, the jawbone will move on its hinge, but in direct contact with the skull. This could be caused by arthritis wearing away the cartilage of the bones. If you experience noises when you move your jaw consult a chiropractor to help determine the severity so as to avoid permanent damage to your jaw.
THE CAUSES OF TMJ
TMJ disorders have various causes. Misaligned or missing teeth can force the bone out of its proper position. Trauma from a fall or car crash can do the same thing. Whiplash is a very common cause of TMJ. Many times stress results in a grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw. This can over strain the muscles and cause serious pain. That pain can flow throughout your face, neck, and head causing various symptoms and discomfort. Similar to a kidney infection, that may cause vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite, or a bladder infection; TMJ may appear as various symptoms (headaches and earaches) that wouldn't normally be considered in conjunction with it.
You may ask, "Why have you recommended a chiropractor to correct a problem with my mouth?" The answer is simple; your chiropractor is trained to correct ailments, due to bone misalignments, by examining all aspects of your lifestyle. The first step is a complete medical exam including your medical and family history, as well as, life style habits and daily routines. He will perform x-rays that can locate the porition of your jaw that is incorrectly positioned. A posture evaluation is performed as well as palpation test to determine the severity of the disorder and the amount of mobility.
Your chiropractor will also create a TMJ treatment plan that excludes surgery and medication. An intra-oral orthotic, or splint, can be fitted into the upper or lower jaw, and is designed to reposition the jaw head back into its normal position. If your TMJ is related to stress, several muscle-relieving exercises or stress-relieving therapies may be diagnosed. Some of these therapies would include, biofeedback, meditation, counseling, or massage. Treatments such as heat, ice are used when needed. Another extemely effective treatment for any painful condition is Acupuncture. Our office is equiped to handle all of the treatments mentioned in this article we also place an emphasis on rehabilitation and return of motion through individually tailored programs.
For advice on how a chiropractor can treat these conditions, please click to request a Free Chiropractic Exam. Schedule with us at: http://www.boneandjointwellness.com/Request_an_Appointment.html