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 specialist 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.
Why do so many people report TMJ-related neck pain?
TMJ specialist 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
Typically, dentists like TMJ specialist 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 specialist 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 specialist in your area. If you live close to Bellaire, Houston, call Dr. Kathy Frazar at Houston Dentists for proper treatment.