Jaw Joint Pain (TMJ)


Jaw Joint Pain (TMJ)

Jaw Joint Pain (TMJ) 1000 682 Ace Health Centre

What is Jaw Joint Pain – TMJ and TMD?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is your jaw joint. It connects your jawbone to your skull. You have one joint on either side of your jaw. Like every joint, there are bony areas, cartilage, ligaments, muscles and tissues that make up part of the joint. It plays a role in everyday activities such as talking, eating, yawning, and singing. Sometimes these activities may become more challenging. A temporomandibular disorder (TMD) (when your jaw joint has an issue / pain) may produce pain in your jaw or in the muscles that control the movements of your jaw. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Clicking
  • Popping
  • Stiffness/tightness
  • Jaw alignment changes
  • Difficulty with opening/closing
  • Locking
  • Difficulty chewing/eating
  • Clenching

How to Assess Jaw Joint Pain TMJ and a TMD

Physiotherapists can provide a detailed assessment of your TMJ/TMD to determine the main source of your symptoms. The best treatment management plan can then be developed to suit your unique needs. Assessment involves many different factors based on your presenting symptoms. Some areas of TMD assessment include:
  • Observing and measuring teeth alignment
  • Palpating the joint, located just in front of the ear
  • Feeling the muscles around the jaw joint
  • Clearing other structures around and in the mouth
  • Observing jaw movements
  • Observing neck movements
  • Asking questions regarding your presenting symptoms

How to Treat Jaw Joint Pain TMJ and a TMD

An individualised management and treatment plan will then be discussed to you by your physiotherapist based on findings from the assessment. So what does TMD Management Include?
There are many different treatment and management options for TMD. You may expect some of the following to be included in your management plan:

  • Massage to muscles involved with opening and closing your jaw
  • Activity modification
  • Joint mobility techniques
  • Treatment to your neck
  • Jaw stretches
  • Jaw movement exercises
  • Using a mouth guard from your dentist
If you have any symptoms in your jaw joint as listed above, come in and see one of our physiotherapists at Ace Health Centre today. We can provide you with the proper treatment and management strategies best suited for you.