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What is a temporomandibular dysfunction, and how can Chiropractic care help

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are a group of painful and dysfunctional conditions involving the jaw muscles (masseter, temporal, medial and lateral pterygoid muscles) and the temporomandibular joints. Difficulty in opening the mouth (ideally, you should be able to place three folded fingers into your mouth effortlessly), painful clicking, deviations in opening or closing, ear pain, muscle tension, headaches, bruxism, locking, and pain can be present in this condition.

After a dental evaluation to check if the occlusion (alignment of upper and lower teeth) is correct because poor occlusions can affect the functioning of the entire mouth, the chiropractor looks for postural alterations. It is common to observe in TMD patients head tilts and rotations, the head projected forward, and excessive tension in the trapezius and neck muscles. Following a thorough chiropractic assessment, the patient's entire cervical spine is aligned, correcting any subluxations found and releasing tense muscles. Occasionally, it may be necessary to release the pterygoid muscles, which are located inside the mouth (they guide proper mouth opening and closing), to alleviate the problem. It is often the case that the alignment of the skull with the neck is also misaligned. If necessary, an adjustment is applied directly to the temporomandibular joint to improve its mobility and restore its proper function.

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