An Unlikely Pair...The Neck and The Jaw (TMJ)

By Dr. Bryant Harris
An Unlikely Pair...The Neck and The Jaw (TMJ)

Jaw pain, popping, clicking, cheek soreness, teeth grinding, neck pain, headaches (migraines), ear pain are all collateral damage associated with a diagnosis that over ten million American suffer from: Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Dysfunction (TMD).TMJ pain can be elicited by numerous factors such as:

  • Abnormal motion of the jaw
  • TMJ disc irritation
  • Dental abmormalities
  • Abnormal jaw muscle tone

As a result, there may not be one solution that works for everyone. Commonly, TMJ/TMD is handled through the use of anti-inflammatory medications for pain management, Neurontin ® (Gabapentin) to reduce nerve activity, manual manipulation of the jaw, and structural correction through braces, mouth guards, remodeling, and neuromuscular changes by a NeuroMuscular Dentist.

How TruCentered Chiropractic Care can assist is that our goal is to establish a neurospinal correction to the upper cervical spine

What you may not know is that the TMJ is located a little more than finger’s width away from the top bone of your neck. This part of your spine is referred to as the upper cervical spine (C1 or atlas). Thus, the position of your atlas bone may play a role in the pain associated with TMJ/TMD.


When the atlas displacement complex is present, it can affect the nervous system at a critical area called the Trigeminal Nucleus. These nerves are responsible for the muscles that move the jaw and the nerves that sense pain in the head and neck.

By correcting the atlas displacement, the nerves can function normally again and regain normal feeling and function in the jaw. It is because of this relationship of the atlas to the jaw that Dr. Harris works closely with experts in the field of Neuromuscular Dentistry, such as Dr. Yasaman Roland, in the care of some of the most advanced cases of TMD.

If you or someone you know is struggling with problems from TMJ/TMD, TruCentered Chiropractic Care may be able to help.

Schedule a Complimentary Consultation with TruCentered Chiropractic Care today.

Dr. Harris is a Life By Design Chiropractor practicing in Annapolis, MD.

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