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Can cervical herniated disc be cause of TMJ?
Hi, I've had right lower jaw pain for about 2 mos. now that's getting worse.  When I look in the mirror and open my jaw wide, my jaw seems to be jutting to the left when I close the jaw, it also makes a popping noise sometimes.  What I've read online leads me to believe I need to see a doctor for probable TMJ, which I will do right after Christmas.  Last year, I began treating neck and shoulder pain from cervical disc degeneration and herniation between C5 and C6 with physical therapy and a portable at-home traction machine.  This year, I started having lower back pain which an MRI recently showed bone spurs and arthritis.  All of these problems started three years ago after a car accident, plus I own and operate a commercial flower planting business which I think aggravated my neck after the accident.  My two questions:  Could a a herniated cervical disc cause my jaw to be crooked?  Could a herniated cervical disc cause lower back problems?  I'm only 37 years old and I feel like I'm falling apart!  Thank you for your input!  Amy
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No.  Most likely a partially displaced disc in the temporomandibular joint itself, not in the neck.  The TMJ has a cartilaginous disc in it that is supposed to interpose the base of the skull and the mandible (jawbone) and move along with it as you open and close.  This cartilage can become partially or totally displaced, with the result being the slight pop you occasionally hear.  It is not really related to the neck injury, though they may share in their cause.  Not that the accident you had caused the joint problem...could have, but it likely was kind of the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.  Most cases are treated non-surgically.  Be sure there is not another possible cause, and if it is affecting your quality of life, get help from a qualified clinician.  Merry CHRISTMAS!
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