Country singer LeAnn Rimes skyrocketed to stardom in 1997 for her rendition of the hit song “How Do I Live”. The song was so successful that it stayed on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart for 69 weeks, a record at that time.
Even as her career zoomed high, she had to endure bouts of pain in her temporomandibular joint (TMJ). On many occasions, she had to take pain killers just to get by and get through a concert. Just imagine a singer in front of a packed crowd of fans screaming and waiting for her to sing.
Unknown to the crowd of concert-goers, she couldn’t open her mouth without subjecting herself to mind-splitting pain. The TMJ dizziness and pain in her jaw was so excruciating that she had to cancel quite a few performances.
LeeAnn Rimes is just one among thousands of people who suffer from this painful condition. So, let’s find out what it is and how people can manage its symptoms.
What is TMJ Disorder?
The temporomandibular joints are on both sides of the face near the ears, where the jaw’s end connects to the skull. A jaw injury, arthritis, tight clenching of the jaw, or teeth grinding (also known as bruxism) are some known causes of TMJ disorder.
A disc separates the cartilage-covered bones that come in contact with the joint itself. This disc functions as a shock absorber whenever the jaws move during talking, drinking, chewing, etc. A person may experience pain in the TMJ when:
- Arthritis affects the cartilage of the bones.
- The joint bumps a hard object or suffers a strong blow.
- The bone disc shifts out of alignment.
Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
People who have this ailment feel pain in the jaw and may find it difficult to open and close their mouth. Other symptoms of this disorder include:
- Difficulty in chewing
- Facial pain
- Locking of the jaw
- Clicking or grating sound when you open your mouth or chew food
TMJ Disorder & Dizziness
Some people who suffer from TMJ disorder say that they also experience dizziness. Others actually have the symptoms of vertigo or whirling, spinning dizziness. Aside from TMJ pain, they also have the following:
- Feeling confused or disoriented
- Feeling as if they are falling into a pit or a hole
- A false visual sense of seeing objects around them move
Some experts say that individuals with TMJ disorder may also experience vertigo because the jaw’s position is near the ears. An injury, misalignment, or inflammation in the TMJ dizziness area may also impact the vestibular system, a network of tiny bone structures, canals, and nerves. The vestibular system sends signals to the brain about the position, movement, and orientation of a body in relation to the space around it.
The exact connection between TMJ disorder and vertigo is not yet fully understood. Future studies should pinpoint precisely why the condition causes dizziness. However, there are already many cases of people with TMJ disorder that also experience vertigo.
Indeed, TMJ dizziness is a condition that needs the scientific, medical, and alternative health community’s attention. It is not a life-threatening condition, but its adverse effects are severe enough to disrupt one’s work and personal life.
Four Ways to Deal with TMJ Dizziness
There are common interventions advised to people who struggle with TMJ dizziness. Some of the most recommended remedies for this condition are:
1. Over-the-Counter Medications
With a doctor’s recommendation, some people opt to take painkillers. These over-the-counter medications help reduce the pain and inflammation caused by TMJ disorder. The pain-relieving action and anti-inflammatory effect also help to reduce the dizzy spells.
2. Hot & Cold Compress
Some cases of TMJ pain include inflammation of the jawline. To help ease the pain, a cold compress is applied. The cold temperature reduces blood circulation to the jaw area, which reduces inflammation of the joint, ligament, or nerve. In some cases, heat therapy can help a stiff jaw loosen its tight muscles. The heat improves blood circulation in that area and promotes the muscles’ flexibility around the TMJ region.
3. Soft Diet
It is also a good intervention to adopt a soft diet, especially when the TMJ dizziness is severe or intense. A soft diet simply means avoiding chewing on hard food that would only put pressure on the jaw and the TMJ dizziness.
4. Upper Cervical Spine Care
This is a natural, non-invasive way of getting relief for TMJ dizziness. Upper cervical chiropractic care works by first assessing all the possible underlying causes of dizziness. An undetected neck injury may be causing the dizziness. The approach to this would be to restore the alignment of the vertebrae of the upper cervical spine. The pathways for brain signals improve, and in the process, the dizziness is reduced or stopped.
Look For an Upper Cervical Chiropractor Near You
You don’t have to suffer for a long time or cancel essential events in your life. There is no need to ask “How Do I Live?” with TMJ disorder, dizziness, or any other ailment. There is professional help available to you today. You can sing again like LeeAnn Rimes or do things you like without having to worry about TMJ dizziness or any other health condition.
Go to our extensive directory right now and contact an upper cervical chiropractor near you.