TMJ Specialist

Dr. Jeffrey James

Chiropractors located in Tristate Area, Evansville, IN

Although the exact number isn’t known, some research indicates that more than 10 million Americans have temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. At his practice in Evansville, Indiana, Dr. Jeffrey James takes a comprehensive approach to alleviate painful TMJ symptoms while addressing the underlying cause of your jaw pain so you get long-term relief. If you have unexplained facial pain, headaches, or earaches, it could be due to TMJ syndrome. Call Dr. Jeffrey James Chiropractic Care today to schedule an in-depth TMJ consultation or request an appointment using the convenient online system.

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction

What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts as a hinge so you can open and close your mouth. Muscles surrounding the joint connect your jawbone to your skull, and when these muscles become strained, you feel pain around your jaw, face, and ears. When your jaw and the surrounding muscles don’t function properly, it’s known as TMJ syndrome or a TMJ disorder.

The exact cause of your TMJ disorder may be hard to determine, and it may stem from a combination of factors including arthritis, genetics, or from clenching your jaw when you’re stressed. You can also experience recurring problems with your temporomandibular joints after a traumatic injury to your head and neck, such as whiplash.

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorders?

People who experience TMJ syndrome typically feel a grinding or popping in their jaw when they chew certain foods. Other symptoms include:

  • Aching facial pain
  • Locking of your jaw when you yawn or open your mouth too wide
  • Earaches
  • Jaw pain and tenderness
  • Pain in your neck and shoulder

Toothaches and headaches are also common symptoms for some people with TMJ problems.

How does a chiropractor treat TMJ?

Dr. James examines your jaw, head, and neck to determine if any of your vertebrae are out of alignment and contributing to your TMJ discomfort. He may recommend gentle chiropractic adjustments to realign your cervical spine (the bones in your neck) as well as your jawbone. Physical therapy and specific jaw exercises can also help to relieve the tension in the muscles surrounding your temporomandibular joints.

Other nonsurgical treatments to relieve jaw tenderness may include:

  • Heat and ice therapies
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy to relax facial muscles
  • Trigger point injections
  • Lifestyle changes, such as avoiding hard foods or gum chewing
  • Stress management techniques

Dr. James develops a treatment plan based on your specific symptoms to treat your jaw and related musculoskeletal problems and misalignments. If your TMJ disorder is related to an injury, he treats the underlying issues that occurred from the injury as well. As with all of his treatment protocol, Dr. James takes a whole-person approach to alleviate your TMJ symptoms so you get long-term relief without becoming dependent on pain medications.

If you’re looking for natural, effective TMJ therapies, call Dr. Jeffrey James Chiropractic Care to schedule an exam or book online today.