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Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Dysfunction

Do you experience earaches, headaches, jaw pain or tenderness, night clenching, grinding, clicking, popping when opening or closing the mouth?

You may be suffering from temporomanidbular joint dysfunction (TMD), a commonly undiagnosed and untreated condition. An estimated 75% of the US population has experienced one or more of the signs or symptoms of TMD. However, only a small percentage of people realize that there are several conservative treatment options available. Before seeking treatment, it is beneficial to understand the anatomy and biomechanics of the temporomandibular joint.

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is unlike any other joint in the body. It is a combination of two types of joints, a hinge joint and a gliding joint. The TMJ performs double motion of rotation with translation. In other words, it rolls as it moves forward. On top of the condyle of the mandible (jawbone) sits a concave disc. The disc of the TMJ assists in its motion. A complex action is orchestrated by over a dozen muscles, which are brilliantly positioned to provide an efficient mechanism of the TMJ. On average, a person moves their TMJ 2000 times a day!

As many different instruments work in harmony to create a magnificent symphony, the anatomical structures of the face, head, and neck contribute to the symphony of TMJ function. If the muscles of the TMJ are out of tune, dysfunction manifests and symptoms quickly follow. By using techniques developed in Applied Kinesiology, a doctor of chiropractic can assess the functionality of each individual TMJ muscle. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, a consultation with a Chiropractor who practices Applied Kinesiology may very well be the best investment you will ever make.