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Facial, Neck, Shoulder or Back Pain

Diagram showing the connection of Muscles, joints and teeth

The design of the human body is a miracle that is as elegant as it is delicate. Our body depends on the balance of many elements to work properly, and because they are all stacked one on top of the other, an imbalance in one must be made up for by other imbalances down the spine. Unfortunately, this means that an imbalance in your jaw can cause imbalance in your head, neck, shoulders, and back.

If you have recurring pain in your face, neck, shoulder, or back that doctors and chiropractors have not been able to treat, or if you are tired of taking pain medication that only dulls the pain temporarily, then you should be tested for TMJ. Please call (803) 781-9090 or contact Smile Columbia Dentistry in Columbia, SC to talk to neuromuscular dentist Dr. Adam Hahn about permanently reducing or eliminating your pain.

How Your Teeth Affect Your Muscles

There are hundreds of muscles in your body, each with a specific job, but none of them works completely alone. They always work as a team. When some members of the team are strained or out of position, they will get additional assistance from other muscles, in a process known as muscle recruitment.

When the position of your jaw changes due to changes in your teeth, such as wear, damage, decay, tooth loss, or poor dental work, the muscles that work your jaw can be put out of place, part of the condition we describe as TMJ. These muscles partner with muscles in your head, face, and neck, so strain on your jaw muscles gets passed to the partners, every time you smile, swallow, talk, bite, or chew, causing soreness and pain.

When muscles in your neck are recruited to help balance your jaw, they can pull your cervical vertebrae out of alignment. Your spine is like a tower of blocks, and when some are out of alignment, others have to be put out of alignment to maintain balance, which transmits the effects of TMJ down through the body, causing muscle soreness as well as pinched nerves that can lead to tingling or numbness in your fingers.

Why Other Treatments Don’t Work

If you experience this type of chronic pain, you have likely visited numerous doctors, neurologists, and chiropractors to try to relieve it. It’s likely that you have gotten treatments that seem to work at first, but the results don’t last.

This is because your doctors may be seeing and treating symptoms, but not the cause. Although they may fix the problems they see, your bite imbalance will cause problems like poor spine alignment, muscle displacement, and muscle tension to recur.

Comparison showing a straight neck versus a forward neck
The skeleton labeled ‘B’ illustrates forward head posture.
Diagram showing an imbalanced skeletal system

This diagram illustrates additional posture problems that can come about as the body attempts to compensate for malocclusion (a “bad bite”).

Immediate & Long-Lasting Relief

Dr. Adam Hahn has helped many TMJ sufferers in Columbia, SC to get relief for symptoms like face, neck, and back pain through TMJ treatment. An initial course of TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) muscle massage can lead to immediate relief of symptoms related to muscle tension. Then through the use of a bite splint, dental restorations, orthodontics, or joint surgery, your bite will be restored, diminishing or eliminating muscle tension and muscle pain.

If you are tired of living with this type of pain, please call (803) 781-9090 or contact Smile Columbia Dentistry in Columbia, SC today to talk to our dentists about your symptoms.