Young woman in a blue shirt getting a chiropractic adjustment

Can a Chiropractor Alleviate TMD Symptoms?

Published date field Last Updated:

Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

If you're in pain each time you chew your food, we're here to help you find relief. Pain when chewing is a symptom of a temporomandibular disorder (TMD), a condition affecting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the surrounding facial muscles.

TMD has a range of causes for which many treatments are available. One treatment might involve chiropractic. With physical manipulation of your jaw joint and muscles, a chiropractor might be able to help ease your TMD pain.

What Causes TMD?

TMD is a general term covering these disorders:

  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, commonly known as TMJ
  • Facial pain around the jaw joint
  • Muscle problems affecting the joint's movement

Besides jaw pain and facial, neck, and shoulder pain – TMD causes problems with opening your mouth, headaches, and other symptoms.

Hormones, genetics, and behaviors can be TMD factors. TMD causes include:

  • Jaw injury
  • Improper alignment
  • Arthritis
  • Tension or stress, which might result in teeth grinding or clenching
  • Autoimmune diseases

Sometimes, though, the exact cause isn't known. Consequently, when dentists or dental specialists treat TMD, they may prescribe several approaches.

How Can a Chiropractor Help with TMJ or TMD?

Licensed chiropractors adjust bones, joints, and muscles to improve function and reduce pain in their patients. One option a TMJ chiropractor can provide is to make these adjustments to help ease TMD/TMJ symptoms, including pain:

  • Manipulate the jaw joint so it can move more easily
  • Relieve the muscle tension near the jaw

You might need to visit a TMJ chiropractor several times or even regularly to manage your TMD symptoms.

TMD Treatments

Besides chiropractic treatment for TMJ or any TMD, other treatments include:

  • Taking pain and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Eating soft foods
  • Reducing stress and tension
  • Wearing dental splints
  • Receiving physical therapy

Ask your dental professional who diagnosed your TMD if a TMJ chiropractic treatment is a good option for reducing your symptoms – either as a stand-alone treatment or in conjunction with other treatments. The important thing is to ease your pain so you can enjoy eating and all of life's pleasures.


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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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