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Finding Relief For Your Jaw Pain

Updated: Feb 16


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It's your TMJ, the joint most frequently utilized in the human body, but surprisingly, it remains the most overlooked and under-treated!


 

What Is Your TMJ?

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The Temporomandibular Joint, commonly known as TMJ, links your lower jaw to your skull. These joints, in conjunction with various muscles, enable your jaw's diverse motions—vertical, lateral, and anterior. This synchronized movement facilitates actions like speech, mastication, yawning, and swallowing. If you encounter difficulties, pain, or discomfort while performing these tasks, you could be experiencing Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ Dysfunction).

 

When Should I Get Help For My TMJ?


Should you encounter any of the subsequent symptoms, your TMJ might be a contributing factor, necessitating an evaluation:

  • Clicking or locking of the jaw

  • Discomfort or sensitivity in the jaw during wide mouth opening, yawning, chewing, extended conversations, or biting

  • Headaches, particularly those situated in the temporal area or upon waking (indicative of potential nighttime grinding or clenching)

  • Experiencing sensations of ear fullness or tinnitus

  • Recent involvement in a motor vehicle accident

  • Stiffness in the neck

 

How Can Physio Help With My TMJ Dysfunction?


The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is a complex structure involving a disc, nerves, and muscles.


Similar to how physiotherapists aid in addressing knee joint issues, they can also provide assistance for the jaw joint. Our physiotherapists will conduct a comprehensive history-taking, evaluate the natural position of your jaw, its movement patterns, and identify tender areas through palpation, all aimed at pinpointing the root cause of your concern. Additionally, your physiotherapist may evaluate your overall posture and neck, as problems in these aspects can contribute to TMJ Dysfunction.


Treatment for TMJ concerns may encompass techniques such as mobilizations, manual therapy, acupuncture, soft tissue release, personalized home exercise programs, and more.

 

DO's and DONT's For TMJ Symptoms:


DO's:


  • Consult your dentist

  • Wear a mouthguard if prescribed by your dentist

  • Sit up tall when eating

  • Try a soft diet

  • Relax! Stress can cause more clenching and grinding

  • Rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth

  • Keep your mouth closed with lips lightly touching to promote nose breathing

  • Do the exercises prescribed by your physiotherapist! This may include specific exercises or stretches for your jaw or even your neck!


DONT's:


  • Refrain from extended periods of forward head posture and slouching.

  • Be mindful of taking overly large bites, particularly with foods like apples.

  • Steer clear of chewing gum, pens, or similar objects.

  • Avoid intentional jaw clicking.

  • Make an effort to prevent teeth clenching.

  • Refrain from biting your nails.

  • Be cautious of excessive talking or opening your mouth too wide if it exacerbates discomfort.

  • Avoid resting your chin on your hand.


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