Chiropractic Temporo-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)

The temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) is one of the most important joints in the body, and when there is dysfunction, it can disrupt a person's life significantly. Jaw motion becomes aberrant when muscles are unbalanced. However, the root causes are usually in more general health issues (immune, digestive, hormonal, etc.).

Signs or Symptoms

TMJ dysfunction is typically associated with:

Clicking, popping upon opening or closing the jaw
Jaw locking
Facial pain
Inability to fully open mouth
Fatigue with chewing
Pain with chewing
Pain with excessive opening
Ringing in ears


Sometimes the cause of TMJ dysfunction is obvious, such as when there has been head and neck trauma or dental work. But being neurologically complex, the jaw joint may reflect dysfunction anywhere in the body. In fact, when there is clicking and popping when opening the mouth, it is usually the end result of immune system stress or other biochemical imbalances.

Chiropractic / Applied Kinesiology Approach to TMJ Dysfunction

Problems with the TMJ usually don't originate in the joint itself but from higher nerve centers. For this reason, manual therapy aimed primarily at balancing the muscles will not only be painful, they are also ineffective. The same holds true for orthodontic apparatus designed to reposition the jaw.

The body works as an integrated whole, and therefore patients with TMJ dysfunction must be examined in their entirety if any lasting relief is to be provided. Is the immune system hyperactive because of allergies or food sensitivities? Is there a history of ankle or knee injury that has created neurological and structural imbalances from the pelvis on up? Are there nutritional deficiencies influencing higher centers in the brain?

Using standard Chiropractic with Applied Kinesiology, Dr. Morrison investigates below the surface in order to arrive at the true causes of TMJ dysfunction.

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