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TMJ Syndrome 
When the TMJ joint is misaligned it is called TMJ Syndrome. Common symptoms include the inability to open the mouth wide and a clicking or popping sound when the mouth opens or closes. ln some cases the jaw can even temporarily lock up. Other TMJ symptoms can include headache; hearing loss; tinnitus (ringing in the ears); throat fullness; facial swelling; shoulder, cheek or jaw pain; neck ache; facial nerve pain; ear or eye pain; dental pain; nausea; blurred vision and dizziness. TMJ Syndrome has also been linked to vertigo, throat infections, sinus congestion, ear infections, asthma and even heart, stomach, intestinal, respiratory and emo­tional disorders.

Causes of TMJ 
According to one researcher, "[Up to] 78% of the general public have some amount of TMJ dysfunction. This condition can begin during the birth process .... One of the primary causes can be poor nutrition." Indeed, TMJ symptoms are found in young children. Other causes of TMJ Syndrome are poor posture, spinal or skull subluxations, accidents and trauma (even from child­hood). For example, a child may fall on his/her sacrum and in time, through the adaptive body mechanisms, the pelvic imbalance can affect the TMJ, head and neck.

The Standard Dental/ Medical Approach 
Standard approaches to TMJ Syndrome in­clude muscle relaxant drugs; painkillers; oral appliances, such as a night guard to control bruxism (grinding of the teeth); massage and a soft diet to ease the pain of chewing. Other treatments are orthodontics, restorative dentistry to build up the bite, bite plates and physical therapy In severe cases jaw surgery has been performed. Yet this drastic step should be taken only after more conservative ap­proaches have failed. 

The Chiropractic Approach 
Because spine and TMJ problems are often found together, many TMJ sufferers benefit from chiro­practic care. Chiropractic, by relieving pressure on the spine and cranial bones, may correct or relieve a TMJ problem. Conversely, an unhealthy skull/jaw alignment can put great stress upon the spinal column. There are documented cases of dental problems that, once corrected, have enabled chiropractic patients to better hold their spinal adjustments.

Certain chiropractic and body alignment tech­niques have been developed that analyze skull/jaw/spinal structural relationships. These tech­niques have benefited patients suffering from the hidden distortions that some­times arise within us. All TMJ sufferers need a chiropractic checkup. Anyone who has been to the dentist should follow up that visit with a quick stop at their chiropractor. 


Improper skull/jaw/spine alignment can affect your entire nervous system. 



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