30 Jul, 2016

TMJ (Jaw) Problems

TMJ - Temporomandibular Joint (Jaw)

Did you know that both of your jaw bones move and can cause TMJ pain? The pain very often relates to your lower jaw (mandible) being wrongly aligned to your upper jaw (maxilla) and the joint capsule where they meet can be compressed with internal muscles and ligaments becoming very tight and painful. The upper jaw bone (maxilla) also moves internally, often compressing upward on one side only.

Babies too can have trouble. If they have trouble drinking from their mother from birth, we find both sides of the maxilla is often compressed vertically from the birthing process causing their pallet bone to be in wrong location so they can’t develop a good sucking vacuum when drinking. This is also corrected much the same way.

Problem: The cranium not only holds your brain but it is also a very intricate mechanism of bones, membranes, neurons, blood and nerve vessels just to mention a few. These all rely on each other for correct function. To isolate one bit such as the jaw – and try to fix just the local jaw problem or to drug the pain is a very unreliable approach with only temporary results. This is valid if pain relief is needed but over time too much pain relief causes bigger health issues than just a mechanical jaw malfunction. The shoulders, neck, sacrum (low back) and teeth are all involved as part of the problem.

Treatment: In our clinic we carefully consider all the elements involved in your TMJ pain or disfunction and discuss with you the various mechanisms. We work with you and your dentist (or can refer you for assistance if you need it) we use diagrams, photos, even a skeleton with real skull bones to demonstrate how it’s causing problems and why its such an intricate mechanism to resolve. We then discuss with you how we can assist your TMJ problems which include the bruxing, your shoulder and neck tension and sacral balancing.

The bones in your skull move – even though standard medical text do not understand or support this fact, they move every time you breath and your cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) changes internal pressures about 3 – 4 times every minute. We work to balance the inter-relationship of your cranial bones, the muscles, ligaments and tendons involved in the many functions of a living skull.

Bruxing is one very important element involved – it’s the subconscious (or conscious) habit of jaw clenching or grinding your teeth during the night or day. Stress is very often involved in this habit – a common factor leading to shoulder and upper back tension and pain with head aches. Sometimes Trigeminal Neuralgia can be involved which is a very painful nerve hyper sensitivity that can cause trigger like pain radiating along your jaw line, cheeks or face.

As a cranial osteopath we regularly work with this problem and find that 90% of the time it is resolved in just a few sessions.

Call us on 3861 0611 and we will be happy to discuss with you the process of correcting TMJ problems and assist you in dealing with painful jaw problems. We can help treat adults, children and babies with TMJ problems.

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