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When Should I See a Chiropractor for TMJ?

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  • Written By: Jodee Redmond
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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Scheduling an appointment with a consultation with a chiropractor for TMJ, or Temporal Mandibular Joint, disorders should be done as soon as the patient starts experiencing symptoms. The TMJ is located on both sides of the skull, directly in front of the ears at the point where the lower jaw is attached to the skull.

Every time a person wishes to speak or chew, the TMJ must move. This joint is also engaged when a person attempts to yawn. The TMJ is the joint that is used most often by humans, and it can be affected by arthritis or muscle disorders caused by clenching or grinding the teeth. An injury to this part of the body is another situation where a patient may wish to consult a chiropractor for TMJ.

A person who is having trouble with his or her TMJ may find that they are experiencing limitations in the range of movement they can achieve when trying to eat, speak or yawn. Other symptoms include crunching or grinding sound when they try to perform these functions. Some patients seeing a chiropractor for TMJ report feeling a clicking sound when they move their jaw.

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When these symptoms occur, seeing a chiropractor for TMJ can provide relief. Chiropractors are trained to evaluate whether a misalignment of the joint has occurred. The chiropractor will take a complete medical history and conduct a careful physical exam. To determine the underlying cause of the patient’s symptoms, the chiropractor may order x-rays.

The chiropractor will look at his or her patient as a whole person and consider their lifestyle when making recommendations for treatment. Once a TMJ issue has been diagnosed, the chiropractor can recommend a number of drug-free therapies that can provide relief from symptoms and treat the underlying cause of the concern. The treatment plan is highly individualized and will likely include a series of visits with the chiropractor for follow-up.

If the underlying cause for the TMJ is stress, the chiropractor will go over some relaxation exercises for the patient to follow. The recommended treatment offered by a chiropractor for TMJ may also include other measures, such as massage or acupuncture. Electric stimulation of the area to relieve pain may be part of the treatment offered by a chiropractor.

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