What is the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)?
Everyone has a Temporomandibular joint, this is simply your jaw joint. You can feel this joint by placing your fingers just in front of your ear, open and close your mouth to feel it move. This is your temporomandibular joint, or commonly referred to as TMJ.
What is TMD?
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is an umbrella term used to describe disorders of the jaw joint. If you suffer from headaches, facial pain, jaw pain, tooth ache, ear pain or tinnitus, this may be due to dysfunction of your jaw. You may have difficulty chewing food, notice clicking or even locking. This commonly occurs on one side of the jaw but may occur on both sides.
TMD can occur for many reasons such as daytime or nocturnal clenching, following dental procedures and surgery, following whiplash or neck pain.
How can I fix my jaw pain?
As there are many causes and symptoms of jaw pain, the best course of action is to first seek your Physiotherapist who specialises in the assessment and treatment of TMDs. This will allow for a comprehensive assessment, to determine the cause and type of TMD you may have. You do not need a referral to see your Physiotherapist, and we recommend seeing a Physiotherapist with an interest in jaw pain as it is not something that all Physiotherapists will treat.
Assessment will be personalised to your individual case and may involve the Physiotherapist checking your neck mobility, jaw range of motion, the strength of the muscles used for chewing and how your neck and jaw function together.
Following assessment, your Physiotherapist can either commence treatment immediately or refer you onwards for further assessment or investigations if required.
Myogenous Temporomandibular joint disorders are the most common type of TMD and respond very well to Physiotherapy treatment and progressive, guided exercises. Treatment may involve intra-oral and extra-oral massage, cervical mobilisation, lifestyle modifications, pain-relieving strategies and guided exercises.
How to seek help
At Seville Health, Rei Ferooz is one of our Physiotherapists who is currently undergoing her Masters in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy with a special interest in TMJ disorders. Rei is able to provide a thorough assessment and provide a treatment plan to help fix your jaw concerns. To make an appointment with Rei give the clinic a call on 5964 2393 or book online at www.sevillehealth.com.au