Living with Jaw Pain?
Do you suffer from jaw pain or hear clicking noises when your mouth opens or closes? These could be signs of Temporomandibular joint Dysfunction (TMD). This joint (TMJ) connects the mandible to the skull. A misalignment of the jaw may result from incorrect coordination between the two joints, leading to stiffness and pain in the jaw that can deeply affect your daily life. Fortunately, a team approach of experienced physiotherapists can support you to address the issue and help you eliminate your causes. TMJ dysfunction is a condition that requires proper treatment, which is why we invite you to make an appointment with South Barrie Health Group.
How Do You Know You Have TMJ Dysfunction?
TMJ dysfunction can be difficult to identify, but tell-tale symptoms are
- pain and difficulty in the jaw joint,
- popping or clicking,
- locking in an open position,
- pain in the ear,
- muscle spasms of the jaw and head,
- headaches, etc.
When dealing with TMD, pain and difficulty eating solid food can result.
Why Do You Have TMJ Dysfunction?
There are many potential causes, such as
- misaligned teeth,
- heavy chewing,
- gum disease,
- muscle spasm, etc.
Diagnosis is based on your medical history and a physical exam and may require further tests.
Other common causes are
- inflammation due to jaw trauma (whiplash, hitting the chin, etc.),
- arthritis due to aging or trauma at a younger age,
- eating habits.
Treatment for TMD
Treatments vary depending on the severity of the condition, with various manual therapies and lifestyle adjustments all being possible.
TMD treatment is a combination of
- muscle relaxation,
- myofascial release,
- mobilization techniques,
- thrust manipulation,
- jaw exercises and other methods.
Treatment may also include home remedies such as
- over-the-counter pain relievers,
- essential oils,
- dental splints,
- at-home physical therapy.
How Do We Start Treatment of TMD
An initial evaluation begins with assessing the neck, shoulders, and thoracic spine. It also includes palpating the joint to check for swelling, spasms, and stiffness, evaluating the range of motion, and examining signs of sleep bruxism.
Posture check (jaw and neck position) can help identify sources of jaw dysfunction and select future treatment methods.
After that, our physiotherapists may ask you questions to study how the condition appeared. Then, considering your preferences and medical contraindications, they create an individual treatment plan with a multi-pronged approach for your condition.
For those with sleep bruxism, a dental splint may be recommended. Treatment plans may also include stress management and exercises to improve jaw coordination.
Change Your Lifestyle to Treat TMJ Dysfunction
Finding relief from TMJ Dysfunction starts with changing lifestyle habits to ensure no strain is put on the jaw. Chewing habits need to be re-examined, and a soft food diet may be recommended to reduce pain and swelling. Our experts will make sure you receive all of these recommendations if required in your case.
Having Jaw Pain? Book a Free Consultation
Regardless of the extent of your condition, we provide personalized care to help manage symptoms and eliminate causes of TMJ Dysfunction. Contact us to book a free consultation.