Temperomandiubular Joint (TMJ) Disorder (or TMJD) is a broad term used to describe a variety of conditions that lead to pain and dysfunction of the jaw. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, TMJD affects between 5-12% of the population. It is more common amongst women and young adults.
The most common signs and symptoms of TMJD are:
- Pain at the TMJ
- Popping or clicking noises when opening or closing the mouth
- Difficulty opening the jaw
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth (known as bruxism)
People with TMJD often also experience neck pain and stiffness, headaches, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) or vertigo, and sinus congestion.
The temperomandiublar joint is a hinge joint between the temporal bone of the cranium and the mandible (jaw bone). It has an articular disc, stabilizing ligaments, a retrodiscal space (that is vulnerable to inflammation), and several muscle attachments. When you open and close your mouth, the mandible should move in a smooth, symmetrical fashion as it rotates down and forward. This requires proper joint positioning, good mobility of the articular disc, appropriate muscle tone in the attaching muscles (not too much, not too little, just right), and the absence of swelling and inflammation. There’s a lot being orchestrated so that you can eat and chat without discomfort!
What causes TMJD?
TMJD can be caused by an acute injury (like a punch in the face or a fall on the ground) or it may come on insidiously. Dental or orthodontic work, arthritis, grinding or clenching your teeth, and stress may also be aggravating factors.
How can we help?
As with all conditions that we care for at Valeo, we like to take a holistic, whole-person approach to healing with TMJD. We will do a thorough assessment to better understand the individual factors that are contributing to your jaw pain before developing a treatment plan. For most people, treatment for TMJD includes massage therapy and soft tissue work, craniosacral therapy, homecare exercises, and addressing any causative factors (like stress or perhaps dental appliances).
Massage Therapy/Soft Tissue work includes treatment of the muscles attached to the jaw and skull. This includes the medial and lateral pterygoids, masseter, temporalis, digastric, and occipitofrontal muscles, all the muscles responsible for helping you chew, talk, and make funny faces.
Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle treatment that works with the cranial and facial bones, as well as the surrounding fascial tissue. It allows better positioning and movement of the bones as well as an unwinding of tension in the cranium and teeth. The bones of the cranium that are addressed include the occiput, mandible, temporal bone, and hard palate (vomer, palatines, & maxilla),
Call the office today (7778-484-5790) to book your appointment or book online.