Headache, earache, dizziness, neck stiffness and pain that radiates outward from the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) – the “hinges” of the jaw — are all symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD). While most people have heard of this disorder, they are often surprised to learn that it affects children as well as adults.
Misaligned teeth are one cause of TMD. When this condition occurs, it throws the temporomandibular joints out of synchronization. Patients suffering from TMJ problems will often hear a clicking, grinding or crunching sound when opening and closing their mouths.
But TMD isn’t just a dental problem. Dr. Smith says studies show this all-too-common condition is often linked to misalignment of spinal bones (vertebrae) in the neck (cervical spine): a condition known as vertebral subluxation. Which is why chiropractic is playing an increasingly important role in the reversal of TMD: both in children and adults.
If you or anyone in your family — particularly children — has not been checked for TMD, schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith. This is vital even in the absence of symptoms, because the jaw joint may deteriorate significantly before the onset of pain.