I have been seeing a tmj dentist for a year and no matter what he tries I still have the ear issues and face and neck muscle spasm.
I have been reading about if the upper cervicals , mainly the atlas and axis (top two vertebrae) are out of place it can cause tmj like symptoms.
I have an appointment with a upper cervical chiro Fri. I have went to several Chiro consults and they all say yes it can cause many head symptoms.
Anyone ever hear of this. I will let you know how my appoint. goes.
I am at the very beginning of getting evaluated for TMJ but have a history of a herniated cervical disc which was removed and fused together with a metal plate and screws. My TMJ symptoms developed shortly after my cervical surgery. In addition to muscle spasms in my jaw, I also get them in my neck. I was wondering about a possible connection.
I have been seeing a NUCCA or upper cervical (aka orthoganist) chiro for 3 months now and it helped aleviate the pulling or tugging sensation I had on my lower jaw and some of the TMJ symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, head, neck and back pain. But it has not corrected my mis-aligned jaw - which is still very painful. But I would still recommend it along with any other type of physical therapy or cranial sacral therapy. After a very long 2 years of suffering with this problem (and I know there are many, many others that have suffered much, much longer than I), every bit helps.
Thelma Louise- Yes thats the type of chiro I'm seeing today. Curious to see what he has to say. I also have been seeing a bioesthetic dentist for my tmj. They have a slightly different view on the treatment of tmj in that they (at least mine) believe in having the front lower teeth touch the backside of the front upper teeth- to send signals to your brain that there are teeth there and also it helps keep the jaw in position. I have an upper denture and lower partial so my dentist said its harder to get the bite right. I think a lot of my problems are in my neck tho, will see today.
I also wanted to add that my bioesthetic dentist works with an oral sx who also believes in the bioesthesthic (they both have TMJD) principle and they don't believe in surgery at all. They seldom even do x-rays or tomograms,as they say it doesn't change the treatment. Treatment is sure a slow process tho, getting those joints in the right position and keeping them there so they can heal.
My first appoint. is Monday for my initial x-ray and consult. My poor dentist has been trying to get my bite right for several months and comes close. I just figure if something is off in my neck and my body is not straight and my muscles are pulling this way and that, then nothing he does is going to work ya know. I have MS too so I do have weak muscles and recently I was told that my one leg is 1/4" short which is do to muscle spasms. Also even if he were to get my bite right, if I have probs elsewhere if may not last.
I guess my thinking is my neck may have caused my tmj, or if the tmj caused issures with my neck then my neck needs to be straightened too.
The NUCCA chiro should or will do an x-ray and diagram or chart out and measure the key focal points from your face (nose, eyes, chin) to the atlas or C1 vertebrae to see if they are aligned properly. I beleive if you are off 1/10th of a degree on any focal point it can cause tmj - I was off 3/4 degree.
I tried that type of dentist who made both my upper and lower front bridges longer - it made me nauseous and dizzy. I agree with the brain msging part of their theory. My brain knows where my teeth and bite used to be and knows what is there now is not right. He even tried a "deprogrammer" splint on the front teeth designed to help my back to learn a new position. My brain would have no part in it. Part of my problem is that I have implants in the front for the bridges and the angle of the implants is creating a huge overbite. I am getting them out next week. I started working with a neuromuscular dentist in Dec but have not made much progress. The other problem I have is that one side of my jaw from ear to mouth is longer than the other, but when they lenghten the short side by adding more teeth to the bridge I can't open that side. I thought pulling all my teeth and going to a denture would resolve this mess - any thoughts?
So is the chiropractor fixing the displacement for you. That is the reason I'm going to the chiro is to see if I have that displacement, as I've read that that type of displacement can cause tmj.I don't really have a shoulder difference thats noticable, but one leg is shorter. The upper cervical chiro I saw said treatment could change my bite.
As I said I have an upper denture and although I've been very happy with my denture, but try to keep your teeth for as long as possible.
Its been 3 mos and yet every time I go I still need an adjustment (2x a wk) - I have one leg shorter than the other as well. He said in most cases the atlas will stabilize within 7 mos or so - but he also said that the mal-occlusion resulting from the mis-aligned jaw may be causing the neck problem so until that is corrected I will need to keep going. The dentist told me this as well. While it has not helped resolve my problem it has helped ease some of the muscle spasms in my face and legs. I guess the biggest difference I have noticed is that when I open and close my mouth I used to actually feel something in the back of my neck pull up and down at the same time and that is definitely gone since I started treatment. And I do notice a change in jaw movement after each treatment as well - sometimes for the worse but he said that is because I have been so mis-aligned for a long period of time my body is having trouble getting used to being correct again.
It seems like a long road doesn't it. I also have the neck muscle that tightens when I talk to much and chew too. I figured my bite might change and thats why I need to make sure my dentist will see me after the adjustments. I feel that sooner or later, the neck and jaw will get close enough and then begin to heal, and then it'll just be a matter of keeping everything straight. I will post what the chiro tells me tomorrow when he does x-rays.
Well I went for a consult at the new dentist and he said my neck muscles are really tight and I have foward head positiion and that I should get massages and then PT and not chiro. He gave me some Flexeril. He said if my symptoms continue after loosening up my muscles then it could be a joint problem.
I also went for my chiro consult and he also said I have he forward head position and that I have the crooked upper vertebrae and that 90% of people do but some have it worst and have symptoms from it.
Thelma Louise- does your upper cervical chiro use the activator method. Thats the method the one I seen uses. He would also help me get rid of my forward upper head position.
Everyone tells you something different it seems, I don't see how a chiro can hurt. Its hard to know what to do.
I had the forward head (tilted right as well) issue when I first started with tmj 2 years ago. I went to a regular chiro for over a year who uses the activator method (vs the manual cracking method). The NUCCA chiro method is somewhat different - although they both use x-rays to determine what is wrong & the length of your legs to determine how much of an adjustment to do the NUCCA chiro will adjust the atlas by lightly touching your face near the temples or directly under your ear. He will also measure your face before he does the adjustment. There is also a machine that can be used to do this. Go to the NUCCA (National Upper Cervical Chiropractor Assoc) website or look up orthogany/orthoganist. The regular chiro (although I liked him a lot) tried to adjust the C1 or atlas with the activator and I did not get the same results as with the NUCCA chiro. Since I started with the NUCCA chiro my chronic nausea is less and my jaw is moving more freely and feels straighter. The dr you mention sounds more like a regular chiro? Is he registered with NUCCA?
No hes not a nucca, but theres not one in my area. The ones I am going to see have special training in the cervical tho and pratice gnostic or something like that. I'll try him a couple times and if no improvement I'll try someone else. I sure hope it helps.
Maybe you should give him a little more time than a couple of sessions. Both chiros told me the longer the mis-alignment has been there the longer it takes to see improvement. Also, your body will need some time to adjust to what he is doing. Don't be surprised if other parts start to hurt (a leg, lower back, your arm, etc). The adjustments move everything around a bit. Good Luck!