Us and Our TMJ

Many times we don’t know when our face is asymmetrical. That or we might think it’s normal, but it’s not.

A news story that discusses people who suffer from TMJ reported that the joints in the jaw also known as the temporomandibular joint the joints allow the jaw to move in such activities as talking and eating food.

Muscles, tendons, and bones surrounding this joint can suffer from functional issues for many reasons thus leading to pain, lockjaw, clicking noises when moving the lower jaw, or even asymmetry. That can happen if a person chews food with one side of the mouth. That wears down that side of the mouth due to overuse and the result is uneven teeth, which then twists one side of the face and cause facial asymmetry.

That habit can also develop the muscles on one side of the face more than the other and can lead to an over development of muscles in that side. One way to tell if you have facial asymmetry is to touch your cheeks or keep your jaw clamped. People who suffer from facial asymmetry may notice a difference between the two sides of their jaw. That difference will lead to an imbalance in the Masseter Muscle

Habits that may lead to facial asymmetry include:

  • Chewing tough food
  • Cupping your chin with one hand
  • Sitting with your legs crossed
  • Leaning on one leg when you stand
  • Twisting your body to play a musical instrument
  • Writing or painting

Many times the top two vertebrae of the spine, also known as upper cervical spine, can become misaligned due to head and neck injuries. That will cause the upper neck to reposition itself below the skull. Then, the rest of the body, including the shoulders, hips, and more will have to reposition themselves to compensate, thus leading to a redistribution of weight throughout the body.

The longer this initial injury goes undetected the more likely there will be that that facial asymmetry causes a misalignment in the upper neck vertebrae. The good news is the upper cervical spine can be realigned using a chiropractic procedure known as upper cervical chiropractic. Research shows an 85% improvement in those who have TMJ following an upper cervical adjustment, and that means there is a connection between the upper cervical spine and the Temporomandibular Joint.

Dr. Tymothy Flory, Dr. James Weiss and Dr. Jameson Wong of Atlas Spinal Care in Upland, California are Upper Cervical Specialists trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Their upper cervical clinic also serves Claremont, La Verne, San Dimas, Glendora and surrounding areas. They are uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems.