There was a time when people dismissed pain in their jaw as nothing more than chewing too hard, or for some, getting hit in the face one time too many.  There must be more to the jaw pain for those who are not into boxing as a sport or those who actually bite and chew conservatively.

People who have felt jaw pain have tried several medicines and methods, to no avail. Many speculate about their jaw pain without adequate information and fail to use the right relief method for their discomfort.

The good thing is, Escondido chiropractic care has helped hundreds to learn more about a little talked-about disorder known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ Disorder.


What is a TMJ Disorder?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is best described as a “sliding hinge” connecting the jawbone to the skull. Doctors consider it a disorder when there is pain, and it is difficult to move the muscles that control the jaw. A disk-like structure covers the temporomandibular joint. This structure is supposed to make movements of the jaw smooth and painless. There is also cartilage that covers the jawbones and can slide whenever a person talks or chews food. When these typical functions are disturbed or impeded, pain sets in.

Most of the time, TMJ pain comes and goes. There are cases, however, that are so serious that surgery becomes necessary.

Based on studies, we know that at least 20 to 30 percent of the adult population suffers from occasional jaw pain or the entire TMJ disorder.  The people who have the condition are typically in the ages of 20 and 40 years old.  More women experience jaw pain than men. In some cases, people with TMJ disorder also report suffering from toothache or unexplained pain in the face and head. 

Signs and Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder

  • Pain or a tender feeling in the jaw
  • Pain in the ears
  • Problems or pain felt when chewing food
  • Dull or aching pain in the face or some parts of the head
  • Locking of the jaw

Escondido chiropractic care can benefit people of different ages and medical backgrounds, including those with TMJ disorder and experiencing clicking in their jaw.  Some report that they hear or feel grating inside their mouth whenever they try to speak or move their jaws.

Known Causes of TMJ Disorder

To date, there is still no way to determine the root cause of TMJ disorder.  It may vary from person to person, depending on their genetics, health condition, age, lifestyle, and other factors.

Like professional boxers or football players, some people may have incurred a severe jaw injury in one of their games. This injury worsens over time and develops into an all-out TMJ disorder. Others have “bruxism”, an uncontrolled grinding of teeth that damages tooth enamel and causes undue pressure on the gums and jaws. Some of the known causes of painful TMJ disorder include:

  • Misalignment or dislocation of the disc that connects the jaw to the skull
  • Arthritis that damages the cartilage wrapped around the jawbone
  • Damage caused by trauma such as a blow to the jaw or getting hit hard with a solid object
  • Sleeping on one side, causing pressure or mild trauma to the jaw
  • Poor posture which brings pressure on the neck and head
  • Use of orthodontic braces, especially if they are tightened excessively or have a poor fit
  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor diet


Natural Pain Relief for TMJ Disorder

Escondido chiropractic care is an excellent method for those who prefer a safe, all-natural alternative pain relief for TMJ pain.  It is a viable option for those who want to regain their optimum health, become pain-free while staying clear of additional medications.  People in their 40s and older need to have alternative pain relief methods since they may already have several prescriptions to take each day.  More pills to swallow are simply not the way to go, given the possibility of contraindications.

Upper cervical chiropractic care for TMJ in Escondido involves letting people understand that the spinal cord is the main highway where thousands of nerves are connected or intertwined. Any wrong angle or misalignment in the cord, most especially in the upper cervical spine, results in pain, discomfort, and other health issues.

Here at Rickards Precision Chiropractic & Wellness in Escondido, California, a special technique is used to help ensure the alignment of the atlas bone and the axis bone, both of which form part of the upper cervical spine. Relief from TMJ disorder is possible when the misalignment is addressed in a gentle, precise manner.

People have to temporarily refrain from eating hard-to-chew food, stop chewing gum, avoid stress, and practice stress relief techniques like meditation and deep breathing exercises.  People with major dental problems might need further treatment or orthodontic interventions.

However, many have already benefited from upper cervical chiropractic care in terms of reduced pain in the jaw, a more relaxed feeling in the head and neck, and an overall sense of wellness. If you want to try out this method of natural pain relief or need to know more about TMJ disorder, please visit our website:


To schedule a consultation with Dr. Rickards, call our Escondido office at (760) 274-0564. You can also click the button below. If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at