Thousands of Americans suffer from crepitus (clocking or popping) of the jaw. For some, it's an annoyance. For others, it's accompanied by excruciating pain. It is estimated that 10 million Americans suffer from TMD also known as TMD. (1) The clicking and popping of the jaw is nothing more than a biomechanical malalignment that has its roots in muscle tone imbalance. In this article, we will discuss one of the most common causes of TMD and jaw popping, upper cervical spine injury. Then we will offer up a natural non-invasive type of health care that has helped thousands of patients recover, including your author.
The TMJ is a hinge-type joint where the jaw and skull meet. The TMJ is susceptible to misalignment because it's frequently used and the muscles that control its position can become imbalanced due to cervical spine injury. It is estimated that 3 million whiplash injuries occur each year. (2) Whiplash injury can be at the root of jaw popping and TMD. The muscles which control mastication are controlled by the trigeminal nucleus or the fifth cranial nerve. If this nerve fires normally the mastication muscles are balanced and as a result, the TMJ works normally. However, a neck injury can irritate the brainstem which houses the trigeminal nucleus, and lead to muscle tone imbalance. The neck injury in many cases is what precipitates the onset of TMD popping and clicking.
Other Things that can Cause Popping and Click in the Jaw
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As we just discussed, the upper cervical spine is the biggest cause of TMD. With this said there are other factors that can cause TMD, popping, and clicking. Direct trauma to the jaw and TMJ can injure the Tm joint and damage the disc that sits inside of the hinge joint. This is uncommon but traumas do occur and can be a root cause of TMD. Dental problems can also lead to clicking and popping. Collapsed dental arches, poor dental work, and direct trauma to the teeth can lead to the bite being off and lead to TMD and popping. TMD, popping of the jaw, and upper cervical corrective care
Our upper cervical health care offices located in Los Angeles have been in operation for 19 years and served over 12000 patients. We have seen hundreds of cases of TMD resolve following upper cervical care. In fact, my own health recovery 28 years ago that lead me to become a doctor, Was the result of being healed from TMD and thirty other symptoms. Correcting the upper cervical spine can have far-reaching effects on the health of the body. In most cases, TMD is nothing more than a neuromuscular problem whose root cause is found in abnormal upper cervical spine biomechanics and neurology. Precision corrections in the neck can allow the nervous system to function normally leading to the resolution of many health problems including TMD.
What is Blair's Upper Cervical Technique?
Blair Upper Cervical doctors are specially trained to locate spinal misalignments in the upper cervical spine and correct them. Spinal misalignment is located by running a battery of neurological tests that locate the spinal segments that have been injured and misaligned by a prior neck injury. Once located, precision imaging in the form of digital x-ray or cone-beam computed tomography (Cbct) is used to precisely determine which joint has misaligned and the angulation of the misaligned joint. Each person’s anatomy is different and therefore imaging is used to uncover the blueprint to be used to correct each patient’s individual misalignment pattern.
Once this information is gleaned, a gentle, light correction is made without twisting, popping, or pulling. The patient is then monitored overtime to ensure that the correction is holding. If the testing indicates the need for another correction, then it is performed. However, the goal of Blair Upper Cervical Care is for the patient to stay in “adjustment”. It isn’t the correction that produces healing. It is the removal of nerve irritation and the adjustment “holding” in its normal position that allows the body to function better and proceed through a healing process. This is how Blair Chiropractic treatment can often help remove the underlying cause of many who suffer from TMD, jaw popping, vertigo, dizziness, neck pain, headaches, and other chronic health problems by supporting the body in healing itself.