There is a small joint in front of the ear called the Temporomandibular joint, which we use about 5,000 times a day. It’s right where the skull meets the lower jaw, and it is the joint that enables the lower jaw to move. When this tiny joint gets out of alignment, a person suffers what we know as TMJ, also sometimes called TMD.
It is important to note that TMJ can result from any type of misalignment of the upper neck and may cause pressure on the trigeminal nerve. When this nerve is damaged, it changes the movement of the Temporomandibular joint. When the jaw opens and closes, the disc is pinched, and this can cause pain in the neck and shoulders during activities like eating or talking.
In a small number of cases your TMJ may not effect the spine, but there is a good chance it does. The misalignment of this tiny joint often causes a type of domino affect throughout your body. This will often be caused by cervical spine dysfunction which can lead to further complications.
For this reason, while your TMJ may start in your jaw, it is important to note that it will not end there. Here are some signs you should be aware of that you might suffer from TMJ:
- Clicking or popping of the joint
- Pain with or without chewing
- Locking of the jaw
- Facial and/or neck pain
- Tinnitis (ringing in the ears)
- Clogged or stuffy ear
If you think you suffer from TMJ, you will want to seek the care of an Upper Cervical Specialist. The truth is the popping and cracking in your jaw may only be the beginning. You will want to make sure this problem is corrected before it becomes worse.
Dr. John Pairmore and Dr. Dennis Young of Pairmore and Young Synergy Chiropractic, in Anchorage, Alaska have 44 years of combined clinical experience. Their anchorage chiropractic clinic is the only office in Alaska that has the specialized Atlas Orthogonal Adjusting Instrument. Dr. Pairmore and Young also serve Fairbanks, Wasilla, and Eagle River along with the entire state of Alaska. They are uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraines and other headaches, whiplash and other neck injuries, chronic back pain, sciatica and more. Learn more about Our Team.