For those with TMJ dysfunction, massage therapy works to address muscle tension, muscular imbalances, and asymmetry within the joints. It is effective in treating the root cause and associated secondary symptoms. Our therapists perform a thorough initial assessment and their treatment includes a variety of techniques including extra-oral and intra-oral massage.
What is TMJ dysfunction?
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, more commonly referred to as TMJ dysfunction, is a condition that pertains to one’s jaw. Symptoms are often due to constant strain, stress, and malocclusion of the jaw joints, leading to pain, loss of function, and difficulty opening their mouth.
Patients often complain of challenges when eating and yawning, and occasionally problems with their hearing. Coincidental hearing symptoms are often due to the close proximity of the eustachian tubes to the jaw joints.
Symptoms of TMJ dysfunction:
- Head, neck, ear, mouth and/or shoulder pain
- Clicking or locking in the jaw with a loss of mobility (ROM)
- Pain and tenderness of the masticatory (chewing) muscles
Two thousand pounds per square inch of pressure is exerted at the second molar when the teeth are clenched – it’s no surprise that the cranial bones would also be affected if this happened all night long.
What causes TMJ dysfunction?
Malocclusion can result from previous trauma to the face or head, a bite dysfunction, or bruxism (grinding or clenching teeth). Bruxism is most prevalent during periods of stress and can occur during the day, or at night while sleeping.
Injuries elsewhere in the body can also lead to TMJ problems. For example, a fall can result in imbalances within the spine, which can lead to neck and jaw problems, even later on in life. Other factors involve excessive movement of the ligaments surrounding the jaw joints, or injuries affecting the disc within the joint. These factors can create audible noises, such as “clicking” or “popping.”