Could your jaw be the source of your head, neck, or jaw pain?

Could your jaw be the source of your head, neck, or jaw pain?

The temporomandibular joint and the trigeminal nerve have a unique connection which can impact your overall health

Headaches, neck pain, back pain and jaw pain are often things people put up with, without ever looking into the cause of the problem. Often these concerns can actually be symptoms of a much larger problem.

The TMJ and the trigeminal nerve have a unique connection which has a very large influence over the control of input to the brain, which can greatly affect your overall health.

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ)

The TMJ is easily recognised as the most active joint in the human body. It plays a major role in many of your body’s day-to-day functions such as chewing, swallowing, speaking and breathing. In itself, the TMJ is a very unique joint as it is the only joint structure in the human body that has two sides, which directly affect each other. Because of this, if one side of the jaw suffers some sort of misalignment, it can put the mandible out of balance, causing an array of issues.

Unfortunately, the TMJ is susceptible to fatigue and degenerative joint diseases through the prominence of its daily use. Patients who experience problems with the TMJ often don’t realise the true cause or are unable to receive a correct diagnosis.

The trigeminal nerve

The body’s nervous system plays a major role in connecting signals and inputs to the brain from specific parts of the body. As part of this system, the trigeminal nerve controls more than half of the total input to our brain, so it’s not hard to understand the important role this nerve plays in influencing your overall health.

Some of the functions controlled by the trigeminal nerve include:

  • The muscles which move the jaw
  • The muscles which tense the eardrum
  • The jaw joints (TMJ)
  • The lining of the sinuses
  • The control of blood flow to the anterior two-thirds of the brain
  • The muscle which opens and closes the Eustachian tubes

Headaches, migraines, neck pain, earaches, TMJ pain and other cranial issues often stem from strain on the trigeminal nerve.

So what is the connection between the TMJ and trigeminal nerve?

TMJ pain is transmitted through the trigeminal nerve and can result in other pain throughout the head and neck. Some of the symptoms of TMJ issues can be attributed directly to its interaction with the trigeminal nerve, such as:

  • Clicking or popping jaw or TMJ
  • Crepitus or grinding noises like broken glass in the TMJ
  • Headaches & migraines
  • Tinnitus
  • Dizziness
  • Neck pain

Because the nerve controls 70% of the total cranial input to the brain, it can often be hard to identify exactly where the pain is coming from and what is causing it.

Treating TMJ symptoms at TMJ Centre Melbourne

The team of leading TMJ dentist, Dr Shah, and chiropractor, Dr Dowker, can help treat a range of TMJ concerns in our Melbourne TMJ centre. By combining the practices of dentistry and chiro, your case is treated holistically, meaning the source of the concern can be treated more quickly.

Offering 50 years’ combined experience, our team can effectively diagnose and treat patients who are experiencing cranial, jaw and neck pain related to issues of the TMJ. If you have cranial, jaw or neck pain, book a consultation with the experienced team at TMJ Centre Melbourne today!

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