TMJ

image of man in pain pressing his fingers against his jaw

The temporomandibular joint connects the jawbone to the skull. Up to 10 million people suffer from painful temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Symptoms include pain in the face and neck, locked jaw or limited jaw movement, painful clicking when moving the mouth, dizziness, difficulty chewing or swallowing and a change in the way the teeth fit together. TMD is about four times more common in women than men.

Causes

TMD has many causes, some physical, some emotional. A jaw injury, such as one caused by a car accident or being hit hard by a ball, can lead to TMD. Degenerative joint disease is another leading physical cause of TMD.

Emotional stress can cause behaviors that lead to TMD, such as clenching the jaw or grinding the teeth.

Conventional Treatment

You can manage TMD through medications or lifestyle interventions. Your doctor may recommend muscle relaxants or pain relievers. Certain types of antidepressants also relieve pain. If you clench your teeth at night, aggravating your TMD pain, your doctor might prescribe a sedative. These medications bring along a variety of side effects.

Other interventions don’t require drugs. Rest your jaws by eating soup or soft food. Avoid chewing gum. Firm or soft bite guards sometimes relieve pain, and keep you from grinding your teeth at night. Ice packs or moist heat can help. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen and stretch your jaw muscles.

If stress and anxiety are the cause of your TMD, try relaxation techniques. Mindfulness meditation, acupuncture, biofeedback, talking to a counselor or massage might help.

In extreme cases, some doctors recommend surgery to repair this joint.

Chiropractic Care and TMJ

Some patients with TMD find relief through chiropractic care. A chiropractor can manipulate your neck and jaw to improve alignment and relax muscle tension. Many chiropractors will also recommend special exercises, hot and cold treatment and other non-pharmaceutical interventions. Your chiropractor might team up with your dentist to provide the best care.

If you’re suffering from TMD, call us today so we can help ease your jaw pain.

If you would like to speak with Dr. Baker before scheduling your appointment, please fill in and submit your contact information below.

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Testimonials

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "After just one session of Acupuncture and a Chiropractic Adjustment my pain level immediately began to reside and I had a renewed sense of hope. I really could not believe it. Dr. Kristine had already started giving me back my life."
    Liz Kansas City, MO
  • "You did it again! I feel like a million bucks! I truly feel like I get my "money's worth" when you treat me. Not only do you treat the problem at hand but you go the extra mile to do some preventative work."
    Tracey P. Kansas City, MO
  • "Dr. Baker is my miracle. Her caring ways and knowledgeable hands have helped me when no one else would. When I moved away from the area, I tried another acupuncturist and did not get as good results as with Dr. Baker. She has changed my life and I thank God every day that I met her and that she cared enough to help when no one else would."
    Annette D. Kansas City, MO
  • "I remember leaving my initial appointment feeling very empowered. I didn’t feel guilty, defeated, or responsible anymore. I felt very hopeful. I truly believe that the regular acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments played a huge role in my success with getting pregnant this second time."
    Sarah Kansas City, MO
  • "I feel so blessed to have been referred to Dr. Baker as I feel that she has totally improved my quality of life. I will always be grateful to my friend at church for leading me to her and I will always be grateful to her for making my life more enjoyable."
    Trudy B. Kansas City, MO

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