Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Over 10 million Americans suffer with TMD. You don’t just have to live with it, we can help!
What is TMJ/TMD?
Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMD), commonly called “TMJ,” are a group of conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement. It is also common for there to be an association with neck pain and headaches. The condition appears to be more common in women than men.
For most people, pain in the area of the jaw joint or muscles does not signal a serious problem. Generally, discomfort from these conditions is occasional and temporary, often occurring in cycles.
Disorders of the jaw joint and chewing muscles—and how people respond to them— vary widely. Researchers generally agree that the conditions fall into three main categories:
- Myofascial pain involves discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function.
- Internal derangement of the joint involves a displaced disc, dislocated jaw, or injury to the condyle.
- Arthritis refers to a group of degenerative/ inflammatory joint disorders that can affect the temporomandibular joint.
Common Signs and Symptoms
- Jaw pain/stiffness
- Headaches or neck pain
- Pain opening your mouth or when you bite down
- Difficulty chewing, talking or yawning
- Clicking, grinding or popping in one or both joints
- Ear pain or feelings of “stiffness/fullness” in one or both ears
- Change in the way upper and lower teeth fit together
- Manual therapy techniques including soft tissue and/or joint mobilization procedures;
- Modality treatments including ultrasound and electrical stimulation;
- Exercise programs that may include exercises designed to improve mouth opening, neutral jaw position, promote relaxation, and/or improve spinal and jaw posture;
- Patient education related to potential contributing factors to TMD such as postural habits, sleep positions/ habits, anatomical/biomechanical dysfunctions, etc.; and
- Learning preventive techniques including how to spot the early warning signs to reduce the risk of recurrence and effective pain management in the event of a flare up.
We have two therapists trained in evidence-based protocols to treat TMJ/TMD:
- Moveforwardpt.com – Physical Therapist’s Guide to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
- Colgateprofessional.com – TMJ Issues
- Mayoclinic.com – TMJ disorders
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