If you are suffering from TMJ, you want relief. You don’t care who gives it to you, just so long as it works. The truth is that TMJ is such a comprehensive illness that it often benefits from a team approach. Two great members to have on that team are a TMJ dentist and a chiropractor.
Why the Team Approach Is Best
Studies have shown that multidisciplinary care has the highest success rates for TMJ treatment. When we consider the wide range of possible symptoms, such as headaches, jaw pain, back pain, and tingling or numbness in the fingers, it makes sense that more than one expert might be necessary to address the full range of symptoms. It also allows your treatment to dovetail successfully into treatment of related conditions such as fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
It also expands the pool of knowledge that can be used to find solutions for your symptoms. Your chiropractor might see something your dentist did not, and vice versa.
A team approach is better than just seeing multiple doctors separately. It ensures that professionals are working together for a solution, not at cross purposes, and that everyone knows what treatments you are receiving so there’s less danger of complications due to treatment interactions.
Why Dentists and Chiropractors Make a Great Team
Dentists and chiropractors work great together on a TMJ team because their specialties form a crucial axis in the TMJ problem. When the jaw is out of alignment, it can put adverse pressure on the vertebrae, causing the spine to come out of alignment. Both dentists and chiropractors offer proven treatments for TMJ, but working separately, they each face challenges that can lead to less effective treatment for you.
When a chiropractor attempts to adjust the spine, the jaw can pull it out of alignment again as long as the jaw is not properly balanced.
On the other hand, dental TMJ treatment can put the jaw back in alignment, but this improved alignment doesn’t always translate into an improved spinal position. Once the dysfunction has been promoted, it may be difficult to reverse. But a chiropractor can speed the process of readjustment and help you to get long-lasting relief throughout your body.
Together they can also teach you a wide range of home care options, which can be vital for your symptom relief.
Who Else Should Be on Your Team
If you are assembling your TMJ team, it’s important to make sure you’ve got a representative group of care providers. A dentist and a chiropractor give you a great start, but if you want to achieve the best results, you should consider:
- Your general provider
- A neurologist (if you have headaches)
- A psychologist or therapist (cognitive behavioral therapy has shown great promise in treating TMJ)
- A yogi, mindfulness expert, or someone else who can help you with relaxation
The goal is to attempt to achieve a well-balanced group that can address both the physical and psychological dimensions of your TMJ.
It’s also important to make sure that every member on the team is fully invested in one goal: treating your TMJ. If some people aren’t dedicated to your health and happiness, it is recommended that you replace them with someone who is dedicated.
At the Michigan Center for TMJ & Sleep Wellness, our goal is the same as yours: treating your TMJ. We believe strongly in working with other healthcare professionals when necessary to achieve the best results for you. To learn more about building a strong treatment team starting with a TMJ dentist in Detroit, please call (248) 825-8277 today for an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey S. Haddad.