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TMJ and Dizziness Symptoms – The Jaw Neck Connection

Posted in TMJ on Aug 25, 2018

TMJ and dizziness symptoms often go together. The prevalence of people who suffer from TMJ and dizziness symptoms simultaneously is high. This is the result of a common neurological cause-upper cervical spine injury and subsequent brain stem interference.  

TMJ and dizziness can have the root cause of upper cervical spine injury. In this article, we will discuss how upper cervical spine injury can relate to TMJ and dizziness symptoms and then offer up a little-known procedure called Blair upper cervical and how it can help you recover your lost health. 



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TMJ and Dizziness 

  • Mental disorientation Confusion



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SymptomsDizziness Symptoms                                            

  • Nausea and vomiting (in intense situations)
  • The sensation that objects are moving
  • Feeling of falling
  • Difficulty balancing
  • Lightheadedness



TMJ 

Pain or tenderness of your jaw pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints Aching pain in and around your ear Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing Aching facial pain Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close your mouth  

 

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TMJ, Dizziness Symptoms-What is the Connection? Can Neck Issues be the Cause? 

Your brain maintains balance by using information from three sources. Inside of your ear, there is something called the vestibular system which accounts for 60 percent of the information, while the other 40 percent is split between your eyes and the muscles and joints. Input from the eyes, muscles, and joints is known as proprioception. When someone feels dizzy there is a problem in one of these three areas. 

Because the central nervous system controls and modulates all these systems, interference to it can cause problems throughout the body.  Here is a scenario of how upper cervical spine injury can influence all these areas and therefore should be the first place one looks when confronted with dizziness or TMJ. When someone sustains a neck injury, the top two bones in the neck can misalign and the injury to the supporting soft tissue can make the misalignment permanent (if not corrected). 

Upper neck misalignment impacts the brainstem. This region of the nervous system controls the muscle tone of the jaw, the neck, and the entire postural tone of the body.  As a result, imbalances in the muscles of the jaw can pull the TMJ out of its normal alignment and lead to abnormal joint mechanics. Because the TMJ and the atlas (c-1) axis (c-2) joints are the most highly enervated joints in the body, malalignment can lead to abnormal proprioceptive input to the vestibular apparatus (balance centers of the body) from these regions.  

One of the best things you can do to correct this is to visit a Blair Upper Cervical Specialist who has expertise in determining whether your upper cervical spine is misaligned or not. TMJ and dizziness symptoms often have the same cause -upper cervical misalignment. 



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What Are the Mechanisms That Lead to TMJ and Dizziness Symptoms?

Whiplash and other acceleration-deceleration injuries to the upper cervical spine set the stage for a cascade of health challenges that lead to decreased neurological function. When an injury occurs to the neck the normal lordotic curve (backward c-shape) is commonly lost, called hypolordosis. 

Because the upper cervical spine houses the brainstem, misalignment of the atlas and or axis causes irritation to the upper cervical spine via the myodural bridge, abnormal proprioceptive input, and dentate ligament torsion on the brain stem.  

These three factors lead to aberrations in the function that have far-reaching effects on postural muscle tone regulation and normal neurological function. Loss of cervical curve is commonly associated with headaches, TMJ and dizziness symptoms.   

When the normal curve has straightened it puts tensile stress on the spinal cord leading to decreased function. Because the trigeminal nucleus and other cranial nerve nuclei are located in the brainstem it is conceivable that the straightening of the cervical lordosis leads to aberrant function of the nuclei that control and monitor the muscles of mastication and therefore can be one underlying cause of TMJ and dizziness symptoms. (1,2) 



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TMJ and Dizziness Symptoms-What Does An Upper Cervical Chiropractor do to Correct the Cause? 

Upper Cervical Chiropractors are trained in the detection and correction of upper cervical spinal misalignments or subluxations. When a patient enters an upper cervical doctor’s office consultation and examination are performed to determine if an upper cervical spine injury occurred in the past and spinal misalignment currently exists. Once determined the doctor will then take precision advanced imaging to view the spinal misalignment. 

Currently, our Los Angeles office uses the latest advanced imaging called cone beam computerized tomography (CBCT) which allows the doctor to see the joints of the neck in a 3-d image. This type of imaging is similar to an MRI in that the image can be viewed from any angle or cut making for the analysis of the direction of spinal misalignment to be accurate. In the Blair upper cervical chiropractic procedure, we image the joints of the neck to see how they fit. 

Because each joint in the body is a mirror image of one another if a spinal misalignment occurs it happens at the joint.  Not only can you see the misalignment, but you can measure its size and measure the joint angles of the misaligned joint. This information is then used to perform a precise spinal correction without any popping, pulling, or twisting of the neck. 

The end goal of the procedure is to correct the spinal misalignment, so the central nervous system can help correct postural imbalances and return the body to normal nervous system function. One of the many benefits that patients can experience is recovering TMJ and dizziness. 

Neck pain, TMJ and dizziness often go hand and hand. If you or a loved one is struggling with TMJ and dizziness symptoms give the upper cervical procedure a shot. It has given many people their lives back by following natural healing principles. Nature needs no help just no interference. 

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