TMJ & Lock Jaw
See how our offices in Arlington Heights, IL, can help you with TMJ & lock jaw.
What is TMJ & Lock Jaw?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge that links your temporal bones and your jaw. The joint also facilitates the up, down, and sideways movement of your jaw while you chew, yawn, and talk. Because TMJ is continuously at work, it can get impaired or pose some severe problems anytime.
The issues with the temporomandibular joint are collectively referred to as temporomandibular disorders or TMD. Kindly note, TMJ and TMD are not the same. TMD is a disorder relating to the jaw muscle and the nerve caused by inflammation or injury to the TMJ.
Generally, women are more likely to develop TMD than men, mainly due to the hormonal disparities between the two sexes. Women feel the impact of their erratic hormones on their jaws mostly during pregnancy and childbirth – the time when their progesterone and estrogen levels are the least stable.
Also, people falling in the 20 to 40 age group are more prone to develop TMD.
During young adulthood, people have multiple responsibilities to shoulder. That ushers with it many stress and stress-related conditions such as hair fall, greying, sexual concerns, and TMD, to name a few.
The following are some other TMD risk factors:
- Poor upper back and neck posture could cause neck strain and jaw muscle function abnormalities.
- As stated above, stress could increase tension in the muscles and subsequently jaw clenching.
- Chronic inflammatory arthritis increases TMD risk.
- Individuals with poorly positioned teeth or jaw trauma have increased risk.
- People who are genetically predisposed or extremely sensitive to pain and heightened stress could be more susceptible.
The Signs and Symptoms of TMJ & Lock Jaw
Like it’s the case with every other part of the body, TMJ gets attention only when there’s something wrong. The signs of a TMJ problem, however, are much easier to discern.
Generally, TMD causes intense pain and discomfort in the concerned region. The pain could be brief or last for years together. It could affect both sides of the face or just one side.
The following are some common TMD symptoms:
- Tenderness or pain in the face, neck and shoulders, jaw joint region, temple area, etc.
- Pain or increased sensitivity around or in the ear while chewing, speaking, or just opening the mouth wide.
- Jaws that get locked or stuck while keeping the mouth in the closed or open position.
- Grating, popping, or clicking sounds in the joint when opening or closing the mouth to laugh, chew, etc.
- Feeling and looking tired in the face.
- Chewing issues or being unable to take a large or uncomfortable bite.
- Swelling on one side of the face.
- Pain at the tongue’s base.
- Vertigo or dizziness
Jaw pain is the most significant indicator of TMJ lockjaw. Disorders of or injury to the complex temporomandibular joints containing muscles, bones, and tendons could cause a sharp pain sensation in the jaw region.
Jaw pain could occur on both sides or just one side, based on the cause. The exact cause ascertains when the pain strikes – whether while your jaws are at rest or while chewing.
Headaches, toothaches, dizziness, neck aches, earaches, upper shoulder pain, hearing issues, tinnitus (ears ringing), blurred vision, etc., are some of the other TMJ problem signs.
What are the Causes of TMJ & Lock Jaw?
The causes of TMJ problems are not well-known or established. According to dentists, TMJ issues or TMD symptoms could be caused by the jaw muscles or the joint’s various parts themselves. The muscles getting tightened and not functioning well could sometimes be the consequence of TMD and not the “cause”.
Whiplash or a heavy punch to the joint, jaw, or muscles of the neck and head will most likely cause TMD. Other possible causes include:
- Clenching or grinding your teeth (exerts pressure on the joint).
- The disc or soft cushion between the joint’s ball and socket moving.
- Joint arthritis.
- Stress (resulting in teeth clenching or tightening of the jaw and facial muscles)
Excessive chewing of the gum, orthodontic braces, etc., could be a few other causes of the disorder.
Hawkeye Chiropractic Care for TMJ & Lock Jaw
If you were not sure chiropractic could help treat your TMJ and lockjaw problems, do not doubt anymore. We, at Hawkeye Chiropractic, can cure your TMJ issues and any jaw-related concern without drugs and surgery.
Our expert team headed by Dr. Drew Voelsch has helped patients with their multiple jaw issues for several years with excellent results. Major credit for that goes to our expertise and experience our team and Dr. Voelsch bring to the table.
And the fact that we take a holistic approach and do not skip steps has helped us provide permanent, long-term relief to our hundreds of patients.
At Hawkeye Chiropractic, we start the TMJ treatment process with the diagnosis. Since issues such as sinus concerns, tooth decay, gum disease, arthritis, etc., could be due to some other underlying medical condition, it’s imperative to ascertain that your signs and symptoms are directly correlated to TMD.
Our doctors will learn more about your problem, health history, and other pertinent things. We’ll examine your head and your jaw. While checking, our experts will look for tenderness or pain in the jaw region and listen for pops, clicks, or grating sounds while the jaw is in motion.
We’ll confirm your jaw functions like it should, without locking in place while you close or open your mouth. If it doesn’t, we’ll make sure it does.
To understand your face and head’s skeletal system, we may also get an X-ray and/or CT scan of your face to get a better view of how your jaws and temporomandibular joints are positioned in relation to each other.
We’ll scan the area using computer tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MRI would reveal the positioning of the TMJ disc when the jaw moves. The CT scan helps see the joint’s bony parts in considerable detail.
Generally, drugs are prescribed to relieve pain – typically extremely high doses of NSAIDs. If that’s not bad enough, there are various kinds of surgeries claiming to treat your TMJ problems as well.
The primary concerns with surgery are the pre-surgery protocols, the procedure itself, and the recovery period. The biggest pain point, however, is the cost. And adding salt to the wound is that jaw surgery, once done, cannot be reversed. Even if a surgeon comes forward to reinstate your jaw or restore it to its original state, it won’t look the same again.
Therefore, think twice or even thrice before opting for jaw surgery. Instead of taking multiple opinions from different dentists, get in touch with Hawkeye Chiropractic for a pain-free, non-invasive treatment approach right away.
Our treatment starts with focusing on the three key muscles:
The jaw joint and suboccipital muscles are also examined. And that’s just a trailer and a very simplistic overview of how we treat TMD or any TMJ issue at our center.
We also teach you some soft tissue exercises to do at home so that the jaw muscles can be loosened and the pain reduced.
At Hawkeye Chiropractic, we look at the severity of the condition before prescribing a treatment plan. Our chiropractors are trained and licensed to adjust joints, bones, and muscles for improved function and decreased pain. If there is no limitation of movement or pain connected with the jaw clicking, we won’t recommend any specific “treatment” as such.
Sticking to chiropractic core principles, we make sure there’s no use of knives, pills, or any other aspect identified with traditional treatments.
Most importantly, the goal is to look at the condition through a macro lens. If postural issues contribute to your TMJ problem, our holistic approach lets us identify the same during the diagnosis phase.
Treatment for TMJ & Lock Jaw in Arlington Heights, IL
If you are in Arlington Heights and have TMD, lockjaw, or any issue related to your mandibles, you should be happy to know that we provide TMJ and lockjaw treatment in Arlington Heights, IL. We have our office at 1401 S Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights, for your ease and convenience.
Besides working with thousands of patients based in Arlington Heights, we have also had people coming in for their TMJ treatment from nearby regions, including:
- Rolling Meadows
- Des Plaines
- Mt Prospect
- Elk Grove Village, etc.
Get in touch with us on the phone by dialing (847) 472-1224. You may even fax us at (847) 472-1193. We are also active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Before you drop by, call us to confirm availability. These are our standard working hours:
- Monday and Friday: 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM
- Tuesday: 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM
- Wednesday and Thursday: 7:00 AM to 1:00PM & 3:00 PM to 6:30 PM
If you are not familiar with chiropractic practice and how it can help treat issues with your jaw or the musculoskeletal system in general, bombard us with your questions during the phone call itself. We urge you to come in for an in-person consultation only once your doubts are cleared and you are convinced we can genuinely help with your TMJ problems.
We don’t mind you visiting us with queries and concerns either.
You Do Not Deserve TMJ & Lock Jaw!
TMJ is arguably the most extensively used joint in your body. When it goes wrong, it can make life extremely difficult. We, therefore, expect you to appreciate your TMJ and the role it plays in your everyday life. And even if you just feel or get a hint of an issue, do not ignore it. At Hawkeye Chiropractic, you can be certain to have all your TMJ or jaw-related problems rectified without the use of knives and drugs.
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