Struggling with your jaw locking? Are you grinding your teeth? Don’t worry, you have options.
Many people come to us complaining about jaw pain. Some complaints come from too much stress at home and work and others from chewing gum too much. In either case, a disconnection between the joint, movement, and muscular components of the jaw makes simple things like talking and eating very painful.
There are simple things you can do to relieve pain like heating, icing, or massaging your jaw, but if you’re like many of our patients, you’re unsure of your jaw locking out on you when you have to yawn and are looking for more comprehensive solutions.
Before care, the first thing we usually hear from people is they have visited their dentist for night guards to stop teeth grinding and correct misalignment of their teeth. Typically, we have patients referred from our community of wonderful Dentists that we work with to make it better.
Our Maple Ridge Chiropractor, Dr. Brett Wee, understands how discouraging it can be to deal with jaw problems. Here are some things to consider to get you from feeling like you’re a cow chewing grass to getting a better jaw.
What is an effective treatment for temporomandibular dysfunction?
Winback TECAR therapy
“People come in with so much pain that they are in tears sometimes. Getting the muscles around the jaw to relax is the best way to get rid of pain immediately, but we don’t want to aggravate it anymore,” says Dr. Brett Wee. “In my experience, TECAR therapy is the best technique to gently warm the muscles around the joints and remove tension. This allows the jaw to open more uniformly and decrease pain enough to allow them to talk or eat normally. But jaw pain can be complicated, and takes a thorough assessment to find the cause of the problem.”
Maybe you have poor posture?
Maybe you’ve gotten rid of the pain in your jaw, but tension at home or work is causing you to have something called “anterior head syndrome”. In some cases, temporomandibular dysfunction might be the sole root of the problem, but we can’t dismiss other areas causing you pain. If you feel like you’re leaning too far forward with your head and slouching, this can put a lot of pressure on your neck and jaw joints.
“I’ve seen people who work at the computer hours at a time without any breaks causing them to slouch forward with jaw pain, and typically, I find they are related,” says Dr. Wee. “We’re able to help these people with hands-on therapy, active exercises, and re-training to correct movements of the neck and jaw. We need to look at the bigger picture in order to address the problem to prevent it from becoming chronic.”
What happens if my jaw pain becomes a chronic problem?
It’s never too late to address a problem and our bodies always respond well with conservative care, but it can be more difficult to care for arthritic changes in the jaw, further dental problems, and increase in pain.
“I’ve worked with Dentists in a supportive manner to help with dental problems from chronic jaw issues,” says Dr. Brett Wee. “We know these are tougher cases, but in many cases, we can help when we work together as health providers. I know some people are fortunate to not suffer from jaw pain, but for many of us, it is a problem that needs to be tackled with the right type of care and support.”
Interested in setting an appointment with Dr. Wee? Call our office at 604-465-4263 or Request an Appointment to get started.
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