The majority of patients seen at Hiltingbury Chiropractic for chiropractic care have back pain. However, many people are not aware that chiropractors can treat most joints in the body, including the jaw and the bones of the head and we often see patients needing jaw pain treatment.
I have observed that often when I see a patient with a slightly less common problem, there will be other patients that suddenly present with a similar problem. Yesterday was such a day when I had three patients complaining of jaw pain.
Jaw pain or temporomandibular pain, can be very debilitating. It can make eating difficult and it can be associated with headaches and neck pain. Direct blow to the jaw or head or whiplash types injuries can result in jaw pain.
The causes can also be associated with bite problems which dentists call malocclusion. This is when the upper and lower teeth do not line up properly. Another common problem is grinding, often at night and the patient is unaware that it is happening. The tension on the muscles around the jaw can result in inflammation both in the joint and in the muscles. Patients may often realise that they are also tensing their jaw at other times during the day often during times of concentration at work or when driving. Stress can result in tightening of the jaw muscles.
The disturbance to the balance of the jaw can also cause clicking on opening or closing which can be very painful and sometimes the noise can be loud enough to be heard by anyone close to the sufferer. The muscles above the jaw lie across the side of the head and these can become tender and painful resulting in headaches.
Dentists can help with jaw problems by improving the alignment of the teeth and by getting the patient to wear a guard at night to help prevent grinding.
Some chiropractors undergo special training such as craniosacral therapy or craniopathy to be able to treat the jaw and the bones of the head. They may use a gloved finger to gently adjust the bones inside the mouth if necessary. The head bones (cranial bones) are closely related to the jaw (temporomandibular joint). The joint is composed of the mandible (jaw bone) and the temporal bone which contains the canal for the ear. The close relationship of the jaw to the ear is why ear pain is often experienced with jaw pain. By working to improve the overall function of the head and neck, chiropractors can help treat jaw problems.
If you suffer from jaw pain and you would like some more information, please give us a call on 023 8027 3545 and we will be happy to discuss how we may be able to help you. You can also find out more about jaw pain here.