A Comprehensive Approach to TMJD
TMJ pain can be excruciating and lead to other problems such as headaches and neck pain and interfere with sleeping and eating. If you are looking for a solution to your jaw pain, we offer a comprehensive treatment approach that may include intra oral massage therapy.
What is the TMJ?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint and pain related to this joint is commonly referred to as TMJ dysfunction (TMJD). The TMJ connects the jaw to the skull and sits just in front of the ears. This joint can move by opening and closing the mouth and a gliding motion back and forth and side to side.
Clicking and popping at this site is a common complaint, however, if there is no pain then it’s considered a normal phenomenon. If there is pain that accompanies the clicking and popping or simply pain on its own, this would be considered TMJD and treatment is recommended.
What Are The Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction?
Headaches and migraines
Muscle pain and tension in the jaw, head, neck and shoulders
Pain when chewing
Difficulty closing the jaw
Clicking and popping of the jaw accompanied by pain
What Causes TMJ Dysfunction?
Common causes of TMJ dysfunction vary and may include:
- Trauma from an outside source such as being punched, falling or whiplash injuries.
- Bruxism (teeth grinding) can occur during sleep or one may have the tendency to do it during waking hours.
- Chronically clenching the jaw
- Like other joints in the body, the jaw joint is prone to arthritic changes. These changes are sometimes caused by the breakdown of the joint (degeneration) or the usual wear and tear. This joint can be affected by both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
How We Treat TMJD
An initial assessment will be performed where information is gathered about your health and symptoms. We run through a verbal intake as well as assessing movement patterns and range of motion. Treatment will likely consist of reducing tension in the muscles of mastication (chewing) as well as addressing other muscles that may be involved such as cervical (neck) muscles and even the shoulders. Your therapist may decide to include intra oral massage techniques that would be beneficial as part of the treatment.
What is Intra Oral Massage?
Have you ever had a massage… inside your mouth?! Intra oral massage work simply means that the muscles being targeted for treatment are accessed by the therapist inside the patient’s mouth. The therapist wears a medical exam glove and slowly and gently treats the targeted muscle with light pressure. This treatment is in no way painful or aggressive.
See our YouTube video below to learn more about what to expect with intra oral massage therapy work. The technique used in this video is myofascial release work. The work is very gentle, slow, and painless for the client. Several sessions are recommended for best results.