Causes, Symptoms, Treatment of TMJ

Tired of your jaw clicking or popping especially when eating?  TMJ is very common and affects an estimated fifteen to eighteen percent of Americans. This is known as Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ), a subconscious pattern that can be relieved with proper treatment. Teeth grinding, clinching, popping, persistent jaw tension and headaches make it that much more difficult to sleep through the night. In addition, you feel mentally and physically drained during the day. In fact, the TMJ/Jaw is the strongest muscle of the body. When your jaw remains tense it sends that tension throughout the entire body. Long term TMJ tension can contribute to migraines, headaches, sleep disorders, neck pain and other conditions.

Common Causes of TMJ- TMD

The exact cause of TMJ is often unclear, however it commonly develops after a head, jaw, or neck injury, such as a car accident, whiplash injury or direct blow to the head.  TMJ appears to be directly linked to migraines, headaches and neck pain. 

Chronic, long term -TMJ can be triggered by a number of things, including: 

  • History of car accident or head trauma
  • Sleeping difficulty - stomach sleeping
  • Neck and shoulder tension from stress
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches or Migraines
  • Hard To Chew Foods

Best Foods For TMJ

Relieving TMJ, may take an improved anti-inflammatory diet including:

  1. Magnesium rich foods as magnesium is know as a muscle tension relaxing mineral.
  2. Steamed vegetables are easy to chew and provide all the good enzymes and nutrients for healing naturally.
  3. Small meals throughout the day helps maintain good blood sugar levels.  Blood sugar fluctuations can increase teeth grinding especially at night.
  4. Easy to chew foods such as stews, smoothies, soups, or steamed vegetables.
  5. Protein shakes in the morning can reduce the amount of meat needed which can ease jaw muscles.

TMJ Symptoms

  •  Jaw tension or tenderness
  • Difficulty opening or closing mouth
  • Hard to chew dense foods
  • Locking or clicking noises from the jaw
  • bruxism- loud teeth grinding, especially at night
  • pain around the ear
  • poor sleep quality
  • Migraines or Headaches
  • Neck Pain

TMJ Treatment

  • Find TMJ relief at Pragle Chiropractic And Massage Therapy with the AO Treatment, Back Treatment and Massage Therapy. 
  • Deep Tissue Massage Therapy can be helpful in easing the muscle tension around the TMJ Joint allowing the joint to relax and move more fluidly.  The muscles of the TMJ joint are extremely tense and often ridden with trigger points and muscle knots.