Neck pain and headaches can have many causes. One of lesser causes of these symptoms is TMD or Temporo Mandibular Disorder.
TMD is often referred to as chronic facial pain or mistakenly TMJ which just means Temporal Mandibular Joint and this is not a diagnosis.
TMD means Temporal Mandibular Dysfunction which refers the improper function of the top and bottom part of the jaw.
Common symptoms of TMD are clicking of the jaw when opening the mouth, not being able to open the mouth far enough (one should be able to place three fingers in the mouth when wide open) and pain in the neck or around the jawline.
The lower Jaw is attached to the upper jaw by muscles and an imbalance in those muscles may result in pain and other problems.
The lower jaw is also attached to the base of the skull making neck pain and TMD a common combination.
Occlusion is a term used to describe how our teeth come together and this has a big influence on the muscles and the state of the two temporal mandibular joints.
We open and close our mouth bringing our teeth together thousands of times a day to swallow, chew, clench, drink, talk and to breathe.
Nearly 90% of the energy out of the brain is used to manage the body’s relationship with gravity. The other 10% is used for metabolism and thinking. Therefore, if our body needs to use more than the 90% to keep us upright and our eyes level with the horizon then it leaves even less for brain metabolism and thinking.
TMD brings upon an imbalance in the temporal mandibular joint making it a functional problem. This is why masking the symptoms of pain with medication makes little sense. Therefore a functional solution needs to be used to bring back the balance how our jaw moves.
Conservative estimates indicate that roughly 25% of the population suffers from TMD. However, this number can actually be much larger because one can have signs of TMD but no pain. The signs and symptoms can be numerous.
However, generally, these are pains and postural changes in the body that don’t have an obvious cause.
The most common causes of TMD are breathing issues as a very young child.
As a person grows the jaw develops with the help of two strong muscular forces, the tongue and the cheek muscles.
The balance between these forces is what dictates any abnormal development.
These breathing issues may arise from allergies that restrict the flow of air through our nose and directs it through our mouth. In order to breathe through your mouth and not the nose, one most move their tongue resting position from behind the top teeth to below the bottom teeth to allow for the passage of air.
This simple adaptation changes the way that our jaws develop and results in an imbalance.
TMD is a treatable condition and at Fornham Chiropractic Clinic, we routinely assess the joint when we examine our patients.
Do you think that you are suffering from TMD, please do not hesitate to book your appointment online or ring us on 01284 220202.