The jaw is a complicated pair of joints. Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ), one on each side of the face, combine a hinge motion to open and close the mouth with a sliding motion to move the jaw side to side. The TMJ attaches the lower part of the jaw, your mandible, with the rest of the skull. The parts of the bones that interact with each other in the joint are covered with cartilage and have a disc between them to assist with keeping jaw movements smooth. TMJ pain can occur for several reasons:
- The disc can wear out or misalign
- The cartilage can become damaged
- The joint can be hurt from an injury or impact
The symptoms of a TMJ disorder can range from a mild pain to the inability to open and close the jaw to eat, speak, or yawn.
To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and TMJ download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.
The Jaw and The Neck
Many people who experience TMJ pain and problems also have neck pain. This is no coincidence. Your atlas, the uppermost vertebra in the spine, actually sits in very close relationship with the TMJ on either side of the face. Even a small misalignment of the atlas vertebra can cause unequal muscle tension in the jaw, causing one side to work harder than the other. An atlas misalignment can also affect the nerves that serve the muscles of the jaw and face, causing them to function abnormally.
The best way to explore this possible cause is with a visit to an upper cervical specific chiropractor. At Read Health Center, this is our focus. We take a detailed look at how the atlas is positioned since even the slightest shift deviation can cause major problems. Once we are able to make a gentle correction to realign the atlas, the body is able to naturally correct any imbalances to allow normal jaw function to return.To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Read call our Ames office at 515-233-8880 or simply click the button below.
if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.