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TMJ Problems?

man with TMJHappy Tuesday! Dr. Kelly here. TMJ problems?

Do you hear clicking or popping in your jaw?

Have you ever had your jaw lock up?

Do you get pain in your jaw when you try to eat a big sandwich?

You may have TMJD – Temporal Mandibular Joint Disorder.

TMJD can be caused by a jaw injury, arthritis, genetics, or even teeth grinding. Stress and anxiety can also contribute to teeth clenching and make the pain worse! Poor posture can strain the neck and facial muscles causing TMJ problems.

TMJD is one of the few times I go by if it AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT! If you hear clicking and or feel popping with no pain – leave it alone.

The TMJ is a delicate joint. In between the jawbone and the skull is a disc. That disc can slip and get pinched. The alignment of the jawbone can be off and put the wrong pressure on the disc. If the disc is involved, you will have pain.

Depending on the issue, over time the body puts scar tissue down and the joint now moves with this no position. This becomes your new foundation, and your body works with what it has. As you can see from the picture below, your Jaw, Skull and SPINE are in close proximity.

skull TMJ The relationship between the three bones determines the likelihood of you having pain. Making sure that the spine is aligned properly, that the skull is resting on the spine properly and that the jawbone is aligned properly to the skull is important. If any one of these areas are off problems can arise. When I assess your TMJ, I have you open and close your mouth. I look to see if the jaw deviates to one side.

***Go Look in a Mirror now, see how your mouth opens and closes.

I also measure the distance that you can open your mouth. I listen and feel for popping and clicking in the joint. If you have pain, popping, clicking try to avoid hard or chewy foods. You can use ice or heat to the TMJ.

Practicing relaxation techniques to reduce stress and relax those facial muscles can provide relief. Splints or mouthguards at night can help with the teeth grinding too. The instrument I use, whether it is the Impulse IQ or the Activator, will assist in supporting the proper alignment of the spine, skull and TMJ. I will work with the muscles on your face and INSIDE your mouth. It is not fun to have the muscles inside your mouth worked on, but it does provide great relief!

Text or respond to this email if you have any questions about TMJD or would like to have your TMJ assessed.

Yours in Healthy Naturally,
Dr. Kelly

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