Temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJD, doesn’t only affect the jaw. The truth is that its reach goes far beyond the jaw. TMJD can actually negatively impact the entire upper body, from the head to the neck and even the lower back as muscles and nerves are pulled out of alignment and their natural position. But, you may be surprised to find out that TMJD may be linked to a digestive problem, too. Some researchers have seen a connection between gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, and TMJ disorder.
What Is GERD?
GERD is a medical condition that affects the digestive system, particularly the lower esophageal sphincter. GERD causes indigestion and heartburn.
How Are TMJD and GERD Connected?
While researchers have known for a while that there is a connection between the two conditions, they’re not exactly clear on the relationship. Does TMJD cause GERD, or does GERD cause TMJD?
One theory is that TMJD develops because individuals living with GERD are more likely to clench their jaw in discomfort due to painful heartburn. The other side of the coin says that people living with temporomandibular joint disorder have a higher risk for GERD because TMJD increases stress and feelings of discomfort.
While this may seem like a “chicken and the egg” question, how can people living with both conditions get help?
Here’s How: Call Dr. Konig
If you’re living with both temporomandibular joint dysfunction and GERD, treating either condition could reduce the symptoms of both. For example, if you see your doctor about your GERD and get it treated, you may notice changes in your TMJD. And conversely, if you get treated for your TMJD with Dr. Konig’s neuromuscular approach and other techniques, you could see improvements in your GERD.
Neuromuscular dentistry can help realign the temporomandibular joints to reduce the pain and discomfort of damaged or misaligned TMJs.
Do you want to learn more about neuromuscular treatment for TMJD? We can help — and you may find relief for your GERD, too! If you’re interested in scheduling a consultation and want to learn more now, call Dr. Ron Koning in the greater Houston area at 713-668-2289.