Your Neck Pain Could Be Linked Into TMD/TMJ
TMJ NECK & SHOULDER PAIN
Your neck, shoulder and back muscles work together as a team. Seldom does a single muscle work without other muscles in the team joining in. Often times, when your muscles are being overworked, they will unknowingly recruit other muscles to help pick up the slack. This is known as muscle recruitment. A TMJ dentist can explain this in greater detail in his Shallowford Office.
When your muscles are strained, it takes a toll on your posture. With the head centered, the spinal column is straight, but muscle tension can shift the head away from the center. To compensate for this, the spine beings to buckle and postural distortion develops as the shoulders and hips begin to tip.
When turning your head, chewing, talking and breathing, all the muscles of your head and neck work together, in unison. When a specific muscle is over-used, it naturally affects the muscles that hold up your head and those that support the neck and shoulder. When one muscle is strained and tired, it recruits other muscles which result in unbalance, which, ultimately, results in pain.
The bones in the neck work intimately with the muscles that control talking, biting, breathing, chewing and head posture. Tight, sore, contracted muscles in your jaw will tilt the shoulder and head, causing over-compensation of the shoulder, neck and back muscles.
Bye-bye Neck and Shoulder Pain
A doctor is specifically trained in neuromuscular dentistry. By examining your bite and determining where and how your jaw joints should be fitting together, he can suggest the proper treatment and eliminate the pain and soreness affecting your neck and shoulder. He'll not just create a beautiful and healthy smile but a properly functioning and fine-tuned body as well.
TMJ and Bad Posture
You can hear your mother's voice ringing in your ears. "Stand up straight dear or you'll wreck your posture". While you did your best to follow her advice, there might be a good reason you still appear to be slouching. If you have TMD, a bad bite or a misaligned jaw, your posture problems could be directly related.
TMJ Affects Your Posture
If you have a bad bite, you will have a jaw that's misaligned. Because of this, you end up with stressed and strained muscles in the jaw, contributing to a stiff upper body. In turn, this can affect your posture and may make it difficult or even impossible for you to stand up straight.
When your jaw is out of alignment, the lower and upper teeth don't meet where they are supposed to. The misaligned jaw muscles have to work extra hard to do the job they were meant to do. As the months, or years, go by, inflammation builds up and results in your back, neck, and shoulders becoming stiff. You are constantly adjusting to the strained muscles and as a result, your whole body goes out of alignment. This may be the cause of your neck, back, and shoulder pain - contributing to bad posture.
If you have a lopsided bite, then the muscle activity and tension will also be unbalanced. When those muscles are over-used it impacts and ‘tugs’ the muscles that hold up your head, resulting in a forward facing posture. It starts with a ‘tug’ on your head, which ‘tugs' at your posture, resulting in a slouching appearance. You look like you aren't standing or sitting straight as there's a slight roundness in your neck, shoulders, and back. The domino effect begins cascading down your entire body and can manipulate the positioning of your shoulder and your hips. In a lot of cases, it's so severe, one shoulder or hip is visibly higher than the other.
When your entire body is not aligned properly, you'll find yourself gradually more lethargic and tired throughout your day. Your sense of balance, control, and strength will be reduced and even the simple things will require more effort on your end.
TMJ Jaw and Tooth Pain
When you suffer from jaw pain, it can be extremely uncomfortable, making it hard to eat and talk. Your face can feel tender, your jaw can constantly click or pop and your teeth feel like they are under continuous pressure. It hurts to eat, to talk and it leaves you writhing in pain, wondering what the heck is happening.
Just like anything you use repeatedly and every day, there is going to be substantial wear and tear. The same theory applies to your teeth. You use them repeatedly, day-in and day-out. Virtually everything you do requires the use of your teeth. Talking, breathing, kissing, eating, drinking, swallowing, chewing, biting, grinding, brushing, flossing... your teeth and jaw are needed for things you don't even think of.
When you have a misaligned jaw or a "bad bite", diagnosed by Dr. Khullar in Little Rock, the wear and tear on your teeth is considerably more rapid. The attrition can lead to uneven tooth wear, loss of range of jaw motion, gum recession, and various other symptoms. All of these are connected to your TMJ.
In this war of muscle versus tooth, three things may happen:
- If your muscles win, you have rapid tooth wear
- If your teeth win, you will have muscle tension and stress along with headaches and other TMD problems
- Or worse: you will experience a combination of both
Jaw misalignment and teeth wear (which can be treated by Little Rock's Dent always) can affect how your face function and it can change the appearance of your face. When your jaw isn't where it should be, you will experience pain and inflammation in your jaw, teeth, and surrounding areas. Additionally, it creates a deterioration of your teeth, causing them to look ground down and worn.