The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is a specific joint that allows your mandible to move with your skull. It is one of the most important joints in the human body and is highly innervated with direct connections to various parts of the brain
Many people will use the term “TMJ” to describe dysfunction in this joint, but in actual fact, this condition is known as temporomanidibular dysfunction or TMD for short.
What causes TMJ or TMD
There are many different causes of TMJ (TMD) ranging from structural problems and dental problems to neurological problems. In fact, there is a specific connection between the nerves from you TMJ and your flight or fright centres and this then interacts with your rest, digest and recover nerve, the vagus nerve.
For most people the cause of their dysfunction is structural and our trained Chiropractors are at the forefront of treating this. Here’s a quick list of some of the structural causes of TMJ we often see:
• Muscular changes around the TMJ
• Muscular changes around the hyoid bone
• Changes to the neck or cervical spine
• Changes to the lower back, especially the sacroiliac joints
• Patella tracking problems with the knees
• Pronation of the feet
• Posture problems
Some of the Neurological causes of TMJ that we have observed:
• Vagal dysfunction
• Brainstem changes
• Vestibular or balance changes
• Stress related changes
• Sleep apnoea
• Grinding of teeth
• Mental health problems
Whilst some of these issues might be hereditary, in most cases, strategies can be developed to stabilize and correct the underlying causes of dysfunction leading to a reduction in TMJ problems.
Do I have TMJ Problems?
The affect of TMJ dysfunction can be quite profound on the average person. For many, dysfunction will lead to localized pain, clicking and cracking, but for some it can be devastating to their life.
The intricate connections between your TMJ and brain often mean the main symptoms may be neurological. These could include:
• Light sensitivity
• Sound sensitivity
• Increased pain sensitivity
• Mental health problems
• Face pain
• Tooth pain
How Can TMJ Chiropractors in Melbourne help with your TMJ?
The key to resolving TMJ pain or dysfunction is to correctly identify the true cause of the problem AND all the affects. This requires a highly specific examination of your structure AND neurology.
Our team here at Spinewise have specific training and are involved in teaching post graduate programs in TMJ assessment and correction.
By identifying all the components to your TMJ problem, our team can quickly assess and identify the cause of your problem and the issues you may be experiencing as a result.