Don’t Let Symptoms Go Ignored
Do you consistently wake up with a stiff neck or develop one during the day? Does your jaw constantly pop and click whenever you speak or eat? These common problems may both stem from a misaligned jaw joint, or TMJ (temporomandibular joint). If you’ve been to the doctor before about jaw and neck pain and they didn’t look at your TMJ, then they likely missed the true cause of the problem.
At Central Connecticut Orofacial Pain & Sleep Medicine, Dr. Keith Hollinger and our team are specialists in diagnosing and treating head, neck, and jaw pain. Often, a strained or misaligned jaw joint is the root of many kinds of pain, one that most doctors don’t have the training or the know-how to treat.
How the TMJ Causes Jaw & Neck Pain
Your TMJ, like other joints in your body, is surrounded by a delicate system of muscles, ligaments, and nerves. When excess tension is created in this system—such as when an uneven bite prevents the jaw from reaching its natural resting position—this tension can easily spread throughout the body. Tension in the jaw can easily cause tension in the head and neck. This is why for many with persistent neck problems, it’s actually a symptom of a jaw issue.
This kind of tension can also be the result of unconscious teeth grinding, known as bruxism. Bruxism typically occurs while a person is asleep, and this constant clenching of the jaw can easily cause the muscles to strain over time, and this pain can spread to other parts of the body.
People dealing with neck pain issues stemming from the TMJ usually have no luck solving the problem by treating the neck alone. While the tension in the neck can be directly addressed, it will not go away until the underlying jaw problem is properly treated.
How We Can Help
When a patient comes to see us exhibiting jaw and/or neck pain, the first thing we look at is their teeth and TMJ. If we notice that crooked teeth are preventing the bite from coming together correctly, or that there is some type of defect in the TMJ, we’ve 9 times out of 10 found the root cause of the problem. For most patients, their previous doctors will have completely overlooked this part of their body.
Once we figure out what is causing tension in the jaw muscles, it’s just a matter of relieving it. This may involve realigning the bite using either orthodontics or slightly reshaping a few teeth to help them come together correctly.
Or, we may prescribe a patient to wear a custom-made mouthpiece to bed each night. This will help slightly shift the jaw into a more relaxed orientation, and it will also place a physical barrier between the teeth to prevent any potential grinding.
With the underlying cause addressed, any pain in the neck and jaw should slowly fade away over time.
Get the Answers You Deserve
Many of our patients dealing with jaw and neck pain have already been to multiple doctors before coming to see us, but they haven’t gotten the long-term solution they need. At Central Connecticut Orofacial Pain & Sleep Medicine, we have the expertise that most doctors don’t to get to the source of the problem and provide a non-invasive treatment to tackle it head on.
If you’re ready to get rid of your persistent jaw or neck pain finally, we’re ready to help you do it. To schedule an appointment with our experts, contact us at (860) 430-5687 today.
Neck Pain FAQs
Dr. Hollinger and our team are ready to help you find relief from your neck pain. Before you schedule your consultation with us, however, it is understandable if you have questions about neck pain and what you can expect from treatment. That is why we have compiled the following brief list of FAQs. If you would like more information about what you read here, or you do not see the answer to your specific questions, please contact us directly. We look forward to serving you!
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