The Connection between TMJ Disorder and the Upper Cervical Spine
It’s no secret that the human spine is one of the most common sources of pain and discomfort. The essential, central role that it plays in movement, sensation, and overall functioning of the body also means that the spine is susceptible to numerous physical insults and injuries. You most likely think of the lower lumbar and thoracic regions when considering back pain, but the upper spinal areas of the neck are just as likely to experience these issues. This is especially true if you suffer from a temporomandibular joint (TMJ disorder).
Unless you are actively seeking TMJ pain treatment you may not be familiar with the important connection that this joint provides between the neck and jaw. But if you’re someone who experiences issues like bruxism, misalignment of your bite, or repeated impact to the jaw, you should be keenly aware of the importance of the craniocervical junction.
Put in the simplest terms possible, the craniocervical junction is the area where the upper cervical section of the spine connects to the jaw and the inside of the skill. It serves many other important functions, not the least of which is protecting the juncture between the central nervous system and spinal cord. Proper alignment of the craniocervical junction is imperative and can lead to numerous problematic conditions if displaced.
The TMJ, comprising the jaw bone and temporal portion of the skull, is a bilateral joint that maintains tooth alignment, normal muscle movement, body posture, and even impacts the equilibrium of your body. A disc sits between the two bones, allowing them to act in a hinge-like fashion. The TMJ can be disrupted by numerous diseases, bad habits, and any blows to the jaw, leading to a cascade of issues that can impact the craniocervical junction and proper neck alignment.
The Link between TMJ Disorders and Neck Issues
TMJ disorders are an uncomfortable health issue to start. They can cause intense jaw pain, difficulty eating, and reduce the mobility of your jaw. But when left unattended, the symptoms can exacerbate to the point where the mandible exerts pressure on the craniocervical joint and, by extension, the upper portion of the neck.
Once proper positioning is compromised in the upper neck area, it’s not uncommon for you to experience intense neck pain, reduced movement, and even neuropathy. Doctors, dentists, and chiropractors can all play a part in reducing the severity of these symptoms by ensuring that there is proper alignment of the teeth, jaw, and neck, as well as treating any infections or diseases that may be leading to issues at the temporomandibular junction. If you’re concerned that you may be experiencing this issue, contact a TMJ clinic immediately to determine the best course of action for your TMJ disorder treatment.
Looking for qualified dentists to help manage your upper neck pain? Markham 7 Dental provides TMJ pain management services that will help keep your mouth, jaw, and neck feeling their best!