TMJ Disorder

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a painful condition characterized by headaches and jaw and face pain. At Lake Travis Chiropractic in Lakeway, TX, experienced chiropractor Ryan Smith, DC, uses the Gonstead Method of chiropractic care to treat TMJ disorder without surgery. Healthy lifestyle changes and routine chiropractic adjustments relieve pain, ease jaw tension, and promote healing.

TMJ Disorder Q&A

What is a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder?

A temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is when one or both of your temporomandibular joints become inflamed and/or injured. Your TMJ joints connect your lower jaw to your skull and move up and down like a hinge when you bite, speak, and chew.

What are the symptoms of a TMJ disorder?

TMJ disorder symptoms include:

  • Jaw pain and/or tenderness
  • Pain in one or both temporomandibular joints
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Aching pain in or around the ear
  • Aching facial pain

As the condition gets worse, you might notice your jaw clicking or locking when you chew or speak.

When should I see a chiropractor for a TMJ disorder?

Make an appointment at Lake Travis Chiropractic if you have persistent jaw pain or tenderness that doesn’t improve with at-home treatments like rest, ice, and over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication. That’s particularly true if you can’t open or close your jaw completely, and it affects your ability to eat and/or speak.

How does a chiropractor diagnose a TMJ disorder?

Dr. Smith reviews your medical records and asks about your symptoms, including where the pain is, what it feels like, and if specific activities like eating or speaking make it worse.

Dr. Smith examines the temporomandibular joint on either side of your face and asks you to open and close your mouth. He listens to your jaw and observes its range of motion. He then gently presses on the skin around your jaw to identify sensitive spots.

Dr. Smith orders diagnostic imaging like X-rays, an MRI, or an ultrasound to better examine your temporomandibular joints and check their alignment. These images also allow him to screen for inflammation and damage to the surrounding tissues.

How does a chiropractor treat a TMJ disorder?

At Lake Travis Chiropractic, Dr. Smith takes a holistic and integrative treatment approach to treat TMJ disorder. He could suggest:

  • Chiropractic adjustments to realign your temporomandibular joints and relieve pain
  • Facial stretches and exercises to strengthen your jaw and the surrounding muscles
  • Ice and heat therapy to reduce inflammation and promote blood flow
  • Nutritional supplements to ease pain and swelling
  • Activities like yoga or meditation to relieve stress
  • An oral splint to prevent teeth grinding (bruxism) and/or jaw clenching

Most people with TMJ disorders benefit from several of these treatments. Dr. Smith monitors your symptoms at routine checkups and adjusts your care plan when needed to ensure lasting results.

Call Lake Travis Chiropractic today to schedule TMJ disorder treatment, or request an appointment online.

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