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Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) is a prevalent group of conditions affecting the jaw joint(s) and its associated muscles, causing pain and dysfunction. Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are a group of more than 30 conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and muscles that control jaw movement. “TMDs” refers to the disorders, and “TMJ” refers only to the temporomandibular joint itself, though many more people are familiar with TMJ. 

Statistics on TMD

TMD is a widespread issue, with approximately 10 million Americans experiencing its symptoms, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). 

Anatomy of the Jaw 

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jawbone to the skull and allows for essential functions like chewing, talking, and yawning. It’s a complex structure involving muscles, ligaments, and a disc, enabling smooth movement. 

Types of TMD 

The main classes of TMD include: 

1. Myogenic: Characterized by local or referred muscle discomfort and tenderness. 

2. Arthrogenic: Involves issues with the joint’s disc, condyle, joint pain or degenerative joint disease. 

3. Headache associated with TMD. 

Common Causes of TMD

  • Stress: Emotional stress can lead to jaw clenching and teeth grinding 
  • Malocclusion: Misalignment of teeth can strain the jaw joint 
  • Trauma: A direct hit to the jaw can cause TMD 
  • Habitual Behaviors: Chewing gum excessively or biting nails can result in TMD

Common Symptoms Associated with TMD

Jaw Pain 

One of the most prevalent symptoms of TMD is pain in the jaw joint area, typically located in front of the ear. This pain can be intermittent or chronic and may worsen when chewing or talking.  

Facial Pain 

TMD can also cause facial pain, which may radiate to the temples, cheeks, or along the jawline.  

Headaches 

Frequent tension headaches or migraines, often originating from muscle tension in the jaw and neck, can be a symptom of TMD.  

Earache 

TMD-related pain can be mistaken for an ear infection, leading to earache or a feeling of fullness in the ears.  

Clicking or Popping Sounds 

Some individuals with TMD experience clicking, popping, or grating sounds when they open and close their mouths. This can be due to issues with the joint’s disc.  

Limited Jaw Movement 

TMD can restrict jaw movement, making it difficult to open the mouth wide or move it from side to side.  

Locking of the Jaw 

In some cases, the jaw can temporarily lock in an open or closed position, causing significant discomfort and anxiety.  

Tooth Sensitivity 

Bruxism (teeth grinding), which is common in TMD patients, can lead to tooth sensitivity or damage.  

Neck and Shoulder Pain 

Muscle tension associated with TMD can extend to the neck and shoulders, causing discomfort in these areas. 

AHC Treatment and Management Options For Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) In Manhattan 

At Active Health Chiropractic, our care aims to enhance jaw mobility, alleviate muscle tension and promote proper alignment for individuals with in temporomandibular disorders (TMD) in Manhattan.   

Treatment options for temporomandibular disorders (TMD) in Manhattan include:  

  • Adjustments: Spinal manipulations are used to address the cervical and thoracic spine, along with targeted adjustments to the TMJ. 
  • Physical Rehabilitation: Specific stretches are used to help alleviate tension and improve TMJ range of motion. Strengthening exercises can be performed for the jaw, neck and upper back muscles. 
  • Manual Therapy: Hands-on techniques including soft tissue and joint mobilizations are used to release tension in jaw muscles. 

It’s important to note that TMD symptoms can vary from person to person, and not everyone with TMD experiences all of these symptoms. Additionally, the severity of symptoms can fluctuate over time.   

If you suspect you have temporomandibular disorders (TMD) in Manhattan or are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s advisable to seek evaluation and diagnosis from a healthcare provider  for a personalized diagnosis and treatment plan tailored to your specific TMD symptoms