Jaw joints also known as temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are one of the most used joints in our body. Our daily actions like swallowing, yawning, talking, etc. make use of jaw joints. You can feel these joints by placing your fingers in front of your ear and move your jaw. Any problem associated with these joints is called TMJ disorder. Like any other disease in our body, TMJ disorders exhibit some visible symptoms, which if we watch closely can save us a lot of trouble. These symptoms include headaches, speech abnormalities that are generally unexplainable and can’t be treated by a speech therapist, pain in ear and jaw, etc. TMJ can make your daily tasks difficult as with the time, the pain starts reverberating to neck and shoulders.
Among the other symptoms of TMJ dysfunction, one important symptom is forward head posture. Some people start to position their head ahead of their shoulders as if they are having problems in holding it up. This particular symptom is called forward head posture and can also cause neck pain.
- Posture and TMJ LinkThere is an obvious connection between head, neck, and jaw. Posture has an impact on TMJ and can lead to abnormalities and dysfunction. Research has revealed a connection between forward head posture and TMJ. This connection is often overlooked by dentists. It is important to watch the relationship between masticatory and cervical muscles when you are noting effects of head posture on TMJ. Forward head posture (FHP) can cause the head to shift beyond its normal axis. This posture can alter the neuromuscular influences on the masticatory system which further affects the resting position of the mandible. Being one of the important TMJ symptoms, FHP should not be ignored and should be immediately brought to doctor’s attention to find out any links with TMJ.
- Realigning the PosturePostural realignment is important in order to treat FHP. The primary aim of postural realignment is to lift up the occiput and move it away from the cervical spine. Further, it helps in neutral alignment of the lower cervical spine. Also, it facilitates the neutral alignment of the shoulder region which can help in correcting the forward head posture.By achieving the postural realignment, one can accomplish functional restoration. Realignment of the posture can positively affect the TMJ treatment. While it can decrease the chances of the disorder getting serious, it can potentially lower the pain that can occur from TMJ disorder.
It is always good to identify the TMJ symptoms at the earliest and take appropriate action. If you take note of symptoms like FHP at an early stage, it can save you from a lot of pain because once the disorder gets serious, it takes a long time for the medication to take effect and cure it.
Whenever you feel a slight abnormality in your posture, immediately consult an experienced dentist. Make an appointment with our Smile Team at Joshua Hong DDS and we will make sure that you rule out the possibility of it being linked to TMJ because usually this connection is overlooked. As a matter of fact, the sooner we recognize TMJ symptoms, easier it will be for us to treat it. So, call and make an appointment today .