June 2015: TMD; Do I Have It?

Question, does your jaw hurt or pop sometimes? Do you have temporal or back of the headaches? Do you at times have ringing in the ears or feel ears are stuffed up? Do you grind or clench your teeth? If any of this sounds familiar, you may have TMD (Temporal Mandibular Dysfunction).

This is yet another installment on posture tips!

First of all, this poor little joint is literally not made for weight bearing due to the type of cartilage it is lined with.

However, we sometimes forget!

I have had patients swear to me that they never hold their head in their hands only to see them in the front of the office waiting to be helped in that exact posture! And don’t try to tell me you never do the ear to the phone shoulder cradle.

So our posture and habits affect this joint tremendously. Sometimes when I treat this problem just by improving posture, the TMD resolves or becomes significantly better.

99% of the time if someone has TMD issues they also have upper neck dysfunction.

As this picture demonstrates and I have discussed before, this is not the way our neck was meant to be loaded with the heavy head out in front. This also changes alignment of the jaw! Which changes pressure in the joint causing popping sensation and soreness in temples or face or by the ear.

So check your posture and if still having any symptoms mentioned above come see me for evaluation. Treatment usually involves light massage, education including tongue position and easy exercise and sometimes referral to a dentist who specializes in TMD.