The temporomandibular joint is what allows you to open and close your jaw. Simply put, it connects the bone from your scull to your lower jaw. “TMJ is what makes it easy for us to eat, talk, chew, swallow and kiss,” says TMJ doctor Dr. Kathy Frazar of the Houston Dentists. When you bite down, you’re placing force on the object between your teeth. The cartilage between your bones is what makes the movement smooth without causing friction.

Neck Pain in Bellaire Houston, TX | The Huston Dentists | Dr. Frazar

Why do so many people report TMJ-related neck pain?

Decorative in Bellaire Houston, TX | The Huston Dentists | Dr. Frazar

TMJ doctor Dr. Kathy Frazar explains that most pain associated with TMD such as headaches and neck aches is due to the displacement of the cartilage disc. “When disalignment occurs, you’ll feel pressure and stretching of the nerves surrounding the area, and  popping of the jaw when it snaps back into place, says Houston Dentists’ Dr. Kathy Frazar. You might experience TMJ-related neck pain due to jaw trauma, teeth grinding or even too much chewing gum.

TMJ treatment for neck pain from Houston Dentists Dr. Kathy Frazar

Decorative in Bellaire Houston, TX | The Huston Dentists | Dr. Frazar

Typically, dentists like TMJ doctor Dr. Kathy Frazar are the first healthcare professionals to examine patients with neck pain. There is no standard test to diagnose TMD, but we do know the TMJ disorder is more prevalent in women than men. These days psychological and emotional factors are said to cause TMD. To check for TMJ disorder, your dentist will review your symptoms as well as your medical plus dental history. Your TMJ doctor will examine your head, neck, face teeth and jaw.  Treatment for TMJ-related neck pain includes:

  • Stabilizing your bite with special mouth guard
  • Diet that consist of softer foods
  • Short-term use of over-the-counter, non-steroidal medicine
  • Avoid jaw-irritating habits like chewing on pencils or grinding your teeth
  • Reduce your anxiety

If you’ve been experiencing neck pain or shoulder pain, visit a TMJ doctor in your area. If you live close to Bellaire, Houston, call Dr. Kathy Frazar at Houston Dentists for proper treatment.