TMJ Syndrome


Tempro-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome

TMJ (Tempro-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome)  and most jaw pain is a condition created by the combination of misalignment (chiropractic subluxation) of the jaw and / or the neck.

Chiropractic, acupuncture and certain muscle release techniques have helped many people with their jaw pain by restoring function to the jaw and neck.

The patient with such TMJ condition (also referred to as TMD or Jaw Pain) usually experiences different symptoms such as: grinding of the teeth, jaw joint pain, headaches, ringing in the ears, vertigo, neck / upper back / shoulder pain, balance or vision problems.

Sometimes, in severe cases, the person with jaw problems will be unable to open his or her mouth wide, or will hear clicking, cracking or a “pop” upon opening.

Often, patients report the onset of TMD issues occurring with some sort of unusual stresses to the neck and / or jaw, such as high emotional stress (such as a divorce), or a severe blow to the jaw, such as from sports injury or a car accident.

Sometimes these patients will seek tmj help from treatment from their general physician, dentist, or an “ear-nose-and-throat” specialist, before coming to the chiropractor.


The Cause

The causes of such jaw problems can come from trauma, but often will show up gradually over time from other causes such as emotional stresses, teeth grinding, poor diet, and life style.

Powerful muscles surround the jaw joint, which when not working correctly in movement can cause improper muscle and nerve firing, which in turn can lead to patient problems of the head and neck area.

The major muscles involving the jaw joint are the masseter and the temporalis. When these large muscles are in spasm, the patient is often unable to fully open their mouth, sometimes causing excruciating pain.

Looking at the joint itself reveals various ligaments, smaller muscle groups and cartilage known as the meniscus. It is this meniscus, which normally acts as a buffer between the jaw and the head that gets damaged from jaw disorders.  The click or pop that patients hear when they open their mouths wide is due to an injury to this cartilage.


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Treatment for this condition can involve one or more of the following:

  • Gentle adjustments and myofasical (muscle) work to reduce muscle spasm, nerve irritation and improve function in the jaw joint area.
  • Corrected exercises and nutritional supplements to help speed joint recovery and improvement.
  • Self help, nutritional and lifestyle changes given to the patient to help reduce stresses to the jaw area.

When treated early, this condition can be controlled and the potential damage to the teeth and jaw joint can be minimized.

When left untreated, jaw issues can erode the health of the teeth and jaw joint, prevent proper chewing, and cause bio mechanical problems to the jaw joint, the head and neck area.