Upper Cervical Care Can Help Alleviate the Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction

Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction in Glen Carbon

Chiropractic Glen Carbon IL TMJ

Are you having pain every time you open your mouth to take a bite? Does your jaw catch or do you notice a clicking noise when you are chewing food? If you’ve been noticing these symptoms and not knowing what to do about them, we may have a solution for you.

The clicking, catching or pain described above is often caused by an imbalance of muscles that move the jaw. But what is causing your jaw to be imbalanced?

The temporomandibular (tem-puh-roe-man-DIB-u-lur) joint, commonly known as TMJ, is a complex joint that allows many types of movement of the jaw– open, close, rotation and sliding. Both joints need to work in coordination with each other to function properly. These movements are orchestrated by a complex group of muscles and nerves.

TMJ health depends on both the proper physical structure and nerve communication to function properly. Obviously direct injury to either joint can cause TMJ dysfunction but did you know that indirect injuries such as repetitive stress to the neck, whiplash, car accidents, sports injuries or dental work can cause improper function at this joint? In fact, even a forward head posture or a loss of the normal curve in the neck can cause TMJ dysfunction.

These often neglected causes of TMJ dysfunction cause stress or trauma to the upper neck (upper cervical spine) that can affect part of the nervous system that controls and coordinates the muscles of the jaw. This altered nerve communication will not only affect the TMJ joint, but other areas in close proximity like the face, ear, teeth, neck and shoulder as well. Symptoms can appear suddenly or take years to develop.

Research studies have found that jaw dysfunction is strongly associated with upper neck (upper cervical spine) disability. Poor head and neck posture were found in 82% of those with TMJ dysfunction and also with those who clenched their teeth (research by Herpich and colleagues).

Because of the intimate connection between TMJ dysfunction and the alignment of delicate upper cervical structures and nerves, a specialized Upper Cervical Chiropractic evaluation is extremely important if you are suffering from unexplained jaw or facial pain. Correction of the upper cervical spine can facilitate improved nerve communication and proper coordination of the TMJ.

Sondra is a typical patient that we see in our office with TMJ dysfunction. Sondra had suffered from jaw/facial pain, headaches and neck pain for over 8 years which began after a very minor car accident. She had been to her dentist, physical therapist and several traditional chiropractors with little success or relief. When she first started care in our office, she stated the pain was a 10 out of 10 on the pain scale, and she was only able to open her mouth 1 cm due to the severe pain and tightness in her TMJ joints. She had difficulty eating, brushing her teeth and even sleeping due to the pain.

After just a few weeks of care, Sondra was able to open her mouth normally without pain, clicking, popping or catching. She was truly pain free for the first time in over 8 years, due to a very gentle upper cervical correction.

At Upper Cervical Care, Glen Carbon IL, Dr. Thad offer a complimentary evaluation to determine if you are a candidate for Upper Cervical Care. Call us 618-692-6992 to schedule your free consultation today. Relief could be a gentle correction away.


8:00am - 11:30am
3:00pm - 6:00pm

By Appointment

8:30am - 11:30am
3:00pm - 6:00pm

By Appointment

8:30am - 11:30am
3:00pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 11:00am

Upper Cervical Health Centers
20 Ginger Creek Parkway
Glen Carbon, IL 62034
(618) 692-6992