TMJ disorder is commonly caused by a misaligned bite or misaligned jaw, but there are many other factors that may also contribute to its emergence. At Dr. Ettienne Van Zyl's Collierville practice, he will help patients determine the cause of their TMJ and come up with an effective treatment plan. Many patients have been able to alleviate their TMJ symptoms and restore the balance of their mouth while under the gentle care of Dr. Van Zyl.
Since the lower jaw is a moveable bone, one of the few bilateral bones in
the body that sits on both sides, left and right side, there's no physical
bony connection between the jaw, lower jaw, and the rest of the skull. Its
position is purely determined by muscles and ligaments. One thing that
we've discovered is that the nerve that innervates, that gives sensation or
motor function to all the muscles of the face, especially the chewing
muscles, also is the nerve that mediates and controls pain distribution
throughout the head and neck.
Every bone in the head grows because soft tissue pushes on it. The cranium
grows because the brain grows inside. The arches develop because the tongue
forms them. So the tongue and the posture of the jaw is everything to do
with how the teeth erupt. And once the first two teeth come in that oppose
one another, that is where your body is remembering to hold your jaw. And
can create big problems of development in the alignment of your jaws. Which
predisposes people to TMJ problems.
So what I do is I use the K7, and I look at the muscle activity of the
muscles in the temples, on the cheeks, under the chin and along the neck,
knowing that the jaw position and the neck position work hand in hand.