Non-Invasive Treatments for TMJ
Temporomandibular joint disorder, better known as TMJ or TMJD, afflicts a sizable portion of the estimated 15 percent of Americans who suffer from facial pain. Reasons can vary, but often include: jaw grinding at night, constant clenching from stress, previous dental surgery and excessive gum chewing.
Symptoms range from tooth and jaw pain to headaches, neck stiffness, earache and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Since the disorder is associated with an incorrect bite and teeth grinding, many people first turn to a dentist, who will prescribe a corrective mouth guard or even cap all the teeth to try and correct the problem. In extreme cases it is recommended to have the joint cartilage surgically replaced, a difficult procedure that sometimes makes the pain even worse. Fortunately, there are many gentle, non-invasive techniques that work wonders for TMJ. Here are some of the treatments I prescribe for my patients:
Active Release Technique- ART relieves the muscle tension behind so many TMJ symptoms, including bruxism (teeth grinding). By applying a combination of tension and specific muscle movements, ART releases the tissues and breaks up adhesions so they can function normally again.
Chiropractic Adjustment- TMJ often includes a shifting of the jaw when the mouth opens or a popping sound in the TMJ area. The shifting is caused by one or both sides of the TMJ not moving properly. The jaw gets temporarily suck as the mouth is opened, causing a shift to one side. The popping is most often due to rough cartilage on the joint surface or the bones in the joint clunking forward when the jaw is opened fully. Adjusting the TMJ helps to break up the rough cartilage, allows the jaw to track properly during motion, and reduces the inflammation caused by this disorder.
Class IV Laser Therapy– Laser light penetrates the skin to warm and stimulate the tissues underneath. The laser energizes damaged cells, relieves pain, and boosts circulation to speed healing and remove inflammatory substances from the muscle fibers.
So before filing down all your teeth or undergoing irreversible surgery, consider a visit to your local chiropractor for a safe and effective alternative.
Dr. Daniel Danieley, DC, ART, Graston
Kinetic Spine & Sports
5945 Weddington-Monroe Rd #104
Wesley Chapel, NC 28104