TMJ Jaw Pain

Do you suffer from Jaw Pain?

Suffering from jaw pain? Did you know Physiotherapy can help?

Jaw pain is technically referred to as Temporomandibular Pain / disorder or dysfunction (TMD). The Jaw joint is called the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ), and is a joint formed by the jawbone (the Mandible) and the Temporal bone in the skull. The TMJ performs tasks such as chewing, talking, yawning and smiling.

Did you know that pain in the TMJ region could also be associated with Neck pain and Headaches?

These are some of the Symptoms of TMJ pain or dysfunction :

  1. Pain with opening the mouth, eating, chewing, yawning, and jaw clenching movements.
  2. Inability to open mouth fully due to pain and restriction.
  3. Clicking with or without pain with the above activities.
  4. Joint locking – which can be on /off or on a more longstanding basis.
  5. Headaches, especially in the temples.

Some common causes of TMJ are:

  1. Can be triggered by trauma, e.g. Motor vehicle accidents.
  2. Recent dental procedures which required having mouth open for some time.
  3. One off incident like biting off on something big like big apple, king size burger.
  4. Habitual - chewing gum, nail biting.
  5. Teeth grinding, jaw clenching.

What are the structures that could be at fault in TMJ pain?

TMJ pain/dysfunction can be caused by the joint itself, which contains a disc or due to over-working of the surrounding muscles.

How can physiotherapy help?

  1. Physiotherapy can help with reducing the stiffness in the TMJ and restore normal mobility in the jaw. This can be done through hands on treatment called TMJ joint mobilization.
  2. It can also help reduce muscle tension around the TMJ through gentle soft tissue hands on therapy.
  3. Physiotherapy can also help with identifying posture problems, which can cause and contribute to neck pain, headaches and Jaw pain and treat them with right advice and exercise. 
  4. Home exercises can be helpful in strengthening the muscles that influence the TMJ and help with long term resolution of symptoms.