Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ / TMDs) are often called "TMJ", actually refers only to the jaw joints themselves. The symptoms of TMJ / TMD, which affect millions of adults and children, can gradually appear with no apparent or specific cause. They also can occur after a trauma, such as a traffic accident or a blow to the face. Even subtle repetitive traumas, like clenching the teeth or excessive gum chewing, nail biting or cradling a phone between your shoulder and the side of your head can cause TMJ / TMD
TMD/TMJ describes a group of disorders that can involve the jaw joints, the muscles that control jaw movement and the dental occlusion. TMJ / TMDs are physical disorders arising from an imbalance in the delicate working relationship of the jaw and skull with the muscles that move the jaw, as well as the nervous system associated with these systems. This imbalance results in muscle fatigue, spasm and/or joint dysfunction, and even changes in the teeth, which in turn cause a variety of symptoms, unique for each person.
Three Main Categories Of Tmj Disorders
Myofascial: the most common and often involves pain not only in the muscles of mastication but also muscles of the neck and shoulders
Internal derangement: Result of trauma, congenital birth defect, etc.
Degenerative: "wear and tear", cartilage degradation, arthritis
Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders may include: Pain or tenderness of your jaw, aching pain in and around your ear, difficulty chewing or discomfort while chewing, aching facial pain, locking of the joint making it difficult to open or close your mouth, headache, uncomfortable bite or teeth pain, clicking sound or grating sensation when you open your mouth or chew.
Over a period of time repetitive motion creates tension in muscles, friction, and micro-tears in soft tissues that surround the jaw. These micro-tears create inflammation and the formation of scar tissue (adhesions). This weakens the surrounding musculature, creates muscle imbalances, and effects normal mechanical function.
Your doctor at Active Family Care Chiropractic in Summerville SC will evaluate your condition using specific biomechanical exams, isolating the true source of dysfunction. With an accurate diagnosis, specific A.R.T. treatments, exercise recommendations, and lifestyle modifications will limit this progressive disorder form worsening.