What is TMJ – Overview
In our complex modern lives, we tend to overload our schedules, spend long hours in front of computer screens, skimp on nutritious meals and adequate sleep and run from appointment to appointment on our “time off.” Exhausting! This near-constant state of busyness and stress often results in facial tension, jaw pain and headaches, along with a whole host of nagging health issues. Many of these problems originate from an often unconscious habitual clenching or grinding of the teeth that impacts the temporomandibular joint.
The temporomandibular joint, commonly known as TMJ, serves as a monitor or sentinel for the postural system. This joint contains the most nerve receptors of any joint in the body. As a result, vital information relayed to and from the TMJ regarding chewing, speaking and swallowing, for example, has priority when it reaches the brain—and with good reason! These functions are obviously essential not only for optimal health, but for survival.
Tension in the TMJ, (including clenching and grinding), is part of the body’s fight or flight response, an integral function of the musculoskeletal system that is often over-activated in a stress response to our hectic lives. To break this cycle of stress including clenching and grinding, successful remediation starts by treating the whole system rather than simply focusing on individual symptoms.
Jaw clenching, tooth grinding, headaches of any type and/or facial tension may signifiy a TMJ issue. If you’ve experienced these symptoms and have not been able to find relief, a global approach may be the missing puzzle piece.
In Health and Happiness,
Dr. Richard Gerardo, D.C. C.S.C.P. & D.A.C.B.N
View Part 2 of this series TMJ and the Musculoskeletal System.
TMJ Holistic Treatment – Burbank, Montrose and Thousand Oaks, California