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Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, also known as TMJ or TMJD, is a condition that causes pain or discomfort to the jaw's muscles. Temporomandibular joints are bones that connect the jawbone to the skull. When this joint becomes dysfunctional, it can restrict jaw movement and even lead to pain. While this condition isn't life-threatening, it can be chronic and difficult to deal with.
Typically, TMJ is a symptom of another medical problem. TMJ could be indicative of a number of problems, including disc displacement, arthritis, degenerative joint disease, bruxism, genetics, hormonal imbalances or emotional stress. TMJ is often associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic laxity, irritable bowel syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea or headaches.
Symptoms of this condition involve a locked jaw, pain, difficulty chewing, and difficulty moving the jaw, earaches, teeth misalignment and other jaw-related issues. TMJ problems tend to worsen over time, so it is important to seek professional help if you suspect that you have the disorder. During diagnosis, your physician will likely observe your jaw's range of motion, test your jaw with movement, and identify the sites of pain or discomfort. The doctor might also employ TMJ arthroscopy, where a small tube will be inserted near the jaw joints to record the extent of the condition. Once a physician diagnoses TMJ, you can then move on to finding treatment.
There are a variety of techniques that could provide pain relief for TMJ. Surgeries, ice packs, orthotic devices and lifestyle modifications are all options to alleviate the TMJ-related pain. There are different types of surgery to treat TMJ, from arthrocentesis to corticosteroid injections. If your chiropractor suggests surgery, feel free to discuss the benefits or risks that will come with surgery.
Lifestyle changes include regular jaw exercises, soft food dieting, the appliance of relaxation techniques, and the use of muscle relaxants or pain-relieving medication. In addition to alleviating the pain, your chiropractor may decide to investigate any underlying causes of the TMJ dysfunction.
If you are suffering from TMJ or any other jaw pains, we are here to help. Proctor Chiropractic is a practice that diligently serves the Tacoma, WA area. Our organization has garnered high ratings and reviews from Tacoma residents in need of chiropractic care. We are staffed with caring and compassionate professionals who are absolutely dedicated to making people healthier and happier.
You can reach us at 253-756-7500 or by fax at 253-756-7501. You can also email us at [email protected] Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.