The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the area directly in front of the ear on either side of the head where the upper jaw (maxilla) and lower jaw (mandible) meet. Within the TMJ, there are moving parts that allow the upper jaw to close on the lower jaw. The TMJ is used throughout the day to move the jaw, especially in biting and chewing, talking, and yawning. It is one of the most frequently used joints of the body.
The TMJ is made up of a network of muscles, tendons, and bones arranged in complex angles. The proper and symmetrically balanced function of each individual structure contributes to the overall smooth operation of the TMJ. Often the muscles are not relaxed and balanced and both jaw joints open and close uncomfortably … we are unable to talk, chew, or yawn without pain. Oftentimes, patients will describe an “uneven” feeling when they bite down, as in one side hits but the other does not.
Muscles that control the TMJ contract in response to the activity nerves which originate from the brainstem.
Greater stimulation means more contraction. Less stimulation means less contraction. There are different nerves on the right and left side of your body. This means that the right side muscles controlling the TMJ can be much tighter because of the right side nerves over functioning.
This imbalance will often lead TMJ/TMD patients to experience the following symptoms; headache, tinnitus, ear pain/fullness and dizziness.
How Our Chiropractors Can Help
Pierce Chiropractic Center uses a revolutionary healthcare procedure that focuses on the Upper Cervical Spine. This procedure identifies subtle misalignments of the top vertebrae in the neck and corrects them using a light-force instrument adjustment.
By correcting the muscular/nerve imbalance at the source, we see a very high success rate in treating patients suffering from TMJ/TMD.