TMJ (temporomandibular joint) Pain and Dysfunction
85-90% of people will experience a TMJ-related symptom in their lifetime according to one study. Women tend to be affected more severely than men.
What is the TMJ?
The TMJ is the joint that allows you to open, close, and move your mouth from side to side. There is a small disc inside the joint for cushion that allows smooth movement. It involves a complex set of muscles which surround it, namely the temporalis, masseter, and pterygoids felt inside the mouth. Its proximity to the neck and ear make those two areas common sites for referred pain from the TMJ.
What are some complaints related to TMJ Dysfunction?
Face pain on one side
TMJ pain with opening and closing the mouth
Ringing in the ear
What are some causes of TMJ Dysfunction?
Direct trauma to the joint
Significant dental issues
What are some signs of TMJ Dysfunction?
Clicking or popping in the joint
Inability to open the mouth fully
Fatigue with chewing
Grinding sounds with opening and closing the mouth
How is TMJ pain/dysfunction treated?
All the surrounding muscles will be evaluated and released with soft tissue therapy
A safe and gentle adjustment will be done with the Activator tool on the side of restriction
The neck will be evaluated and treated in a similar manner to relieve the stress it may put on the TMJ
If dental involvement is significant, we would refer to a dentist who specializes in TMJ problems
Souza, Thomas. Differential Diagnosis and Management for the Chiropractor: Protocols and Algorithms. Jones & Bartlett Learning; 4th edition (2009).
By: Dr. Eugenie Giasson-Gomez