The Temperomandibular joint (TMJ)

The temperomandibular joint (TMJ) or jaw joint is an anatomical structure, not a condition. Although problems with this part of the body are often referred to simply as “TMJ”. As the name suggests, this is a joint where the lower jaw, mandible, connects with another cranial bone, the temporal, one on each side. The temporals are one of the 22 bones of the cranium; these being the ones that contain the ear holes.

Like any other joint in the human body, the TMJ can become misaligned causing pain and dysfunction. In chiropractic, we call a misaligned bone a subluxation. TMJ TreatmentThe TMJ can be misaligned/subluxated in many ways resulting in problems which include pain, clicking, popping, trouble moving the jaw and teeth grinding(bruxism). Often times, people go to dentists for help with these kind of problems since they are associated with the mouth.

Dentists are, of course, concerned with their patients teeth. This is their specialty, scope of practice and quite simply what they are good at. Dentists are not trained or licenced to diagnose or treat any area of the body outside of the mouth. As such, the dental solution to all TMJ problems is to address the one that effects teeth, bruxism or grinding the teeth especially at night. A plastic night guard is used to prevent the patient from wearing his/her teeth down. While this treatment is effective at protecting teeth, it does little to help the other symptoms much less address the cause of the problem. Consequently, dentists are often frustrated by TMJ issues. Naturally, TMJ and other joint problems are best handled by chiropractors. Especially since effective treatment of TMJ problems requires treatment beyond the head and mouth.

For relief of TMJ problems, consider the chiropractic technique SOT craniopathy.