TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, consists of an articular disc that sits in the joint, the mandible (the jaw), and muscles like pterygoids that supports the joint. The jaw is connected to the cranium by the temporal bone, where your ears sit, and the upper cervical (neck) by muscles. When there is pain or problems with the joint, it is known as TMD or temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Due to the complexity of the joint itself, there is rarely a time that TMD has a single cause.

Causes of TMD:

  • Sacrum and pelvic imbalances
  • Upper cervical tension
  • Leg length inequalities
  • Grinding/Clenching
  • Hypermobility
  • Compaction of the joint due to degeneration
  • Disc derangement (jaw bone slips off the jaw disc)
  • Malocclusion (issues with the way the teeth fit together)
  • Braces or Night Guards that don’t fit well or are moving teeth/bone the wrong way 

TMJ and Jaw Dysfunction can result in:

  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Upper back pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Grinding and clenching
  • Tinnitus
  • Degeneration of the joint
  • Jaw pain
  • Sleep apnea
  • Airway and breathing issues

As mentioned before, TMD usually is not a single cause, it is usually a combination of causes resulting in the dysfunction of the joint. Doing a thorough assessment of the spine, cranium, TMJ, muscles, and bite are important to determine areas of stress and dysfunctions. If you are experiencing the symptoms listed above, call us today at (650) 948-8900 for a free 15 minute consultation or book a new patient appointment with us today.