Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome & Temporomandibular Dysfunction Treatment

Common symptoms include:

  • Clicking, popping or cracking when opening or closing your mouth
  • Limited jaw opening or closing or deviation to one side
  • Inability to fully clench your jaw or eat hard food
  • Jaw getting stuck open or closed
  • Ringing in the ear or ear feels blocked
  • Headaches
  • Pain in your TMJ and chewing muscles

What is the Temporomandibular Joint?

The Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is your jaw and this can be strained or develop movement abnormalities (just like any other joint can) causing pain in the muscles and nerves around the face, head and neck.

The temporomandibular joint is the connection between the jawbone and the skull.

When things go wrong it is called Temporomandibular Disorder or Dysfunction.

Risk factors for TMJ Syndrome

There are several risk factors for TMJ syndrome:

  • Poor posture in the neck and upper back muscles may lead to neck strain and abnormalities of jaw muscle function
  • Stress may increase muscle tension and jaw clenching and stress related habits such as biting your nails and chewing things like gum or candy for a long time
  • TMD is more common in women
  • Patients with other chronic inflammatory arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia
  • People with jaw trauma or poorly positioned teeth
  • People who have a genetic predisposition to pain sensitivity and increased stress responses may be more susceptible
  • Bruxism.This is tooth grinding and clenching either when you are awake and asleep.

TMD Treatment

TMD may be diagnosed by your dentist, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Doctor or Dentist. After a full assessment a treatment plan is devised.

TMD Treatments include:

  • Various modalities to reduce pain, improve movement, function and stability
  • Postural correction /re-education and neck treatment
  • Acupuncture and dry needling for pain and tight muscles and healing
  • Exercises to balance the jaw muscles and correct movement abnormalities
  • Manual therapy and mobilisation
  • Massage
  • Exercises
  • Advice re self-help procedures