Although neck pain may be somewhat of a common symptom, many people do not realize that chronic pain in the face, head, and neck could actually be a sign that there is a problem with the structure of the jaw. The temporomandibular joints, or TMJs, are vital to the overall structure. These joints, situated at the back of the jaw where it meets the skull, are responsible for the various movements needed for chewing and speaking. Under immense pressure, there is the possibility for dysfunction to occur.
When problems develop within the temporomandibular joints, a domino effect is triggered. This is due to the fact that these joints are connected to ligaments and muscles that span around the face, head, and neck. Because of the intricacies of the structure surrounding the TMJs, dysfunction may be disguised as a multitude of other conditions, making it challenging to diagnose. This factor also makes it difficult for some people to recognize the link between TMJ disorder and neck pain. In our downtown LA dental practice, Dr. Mungcal uses his vast experience to diagnose and treat TMJ in a non-invasive manner.
In TMJ disorder, the jawbone is not likely to close evenly. This malfunction in bite can create pain in the jaw, neck, and shoulders. Dysfunction in this structure leads to chronic stress, pain, and swelling in the surrounding tissues. The muscles that control the jaw movement span from one side of the head to the other, and interact with all surrounding muscles of the head, neck, and shoulders that hold our spine in proper alignment.
Our muscles work to facilitate functional chewing, and may become overworked trying to create the proper closure of the jaw. These muscles experience additional stress in this dysfunctional situation, because they also work with surrounding muscles for head posture. When fatigued, these muscles that span down the neck, experience discomfort and weakness. In severe cases of muscle fatigue, pain can even be felt down the arms.
Although people often look for TMJ to be associated with clicking, popping, or limited movement in the jaw, various other signs of this condition, include:
- Chronic headaches, sometimes severe.
- Pain in the neck and shoulders.
- Tingling or numbness in the arms and fingers.
- Ear pain, hearing loss, or ringing in the ears.
- Tooth sensitivity or soreness.
- Discomfort or difficulty chewing.
- Locking when moving the jaw.
Serving the area of DTLA, including West Hollywood, and surrounding communities, Dr. Mungcal provides gentle, effective treatment for TMJ. Contact us today for your consultation.