Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Jaw Problems
The Jaw is one of the most frequently used joints in the body, allowing you to talk, chew, yawn, swallow and sneeze. Thus, dysfunction relating to the Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ) is very common. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) is often overlooked with few practitioners in the fields of treatment and rehabilitation. Shelbourne Physiotherapy in Victoria British Columbia is pleased to bring this area of clinical practice to the Victoria region. Shelbourne Physiotherapists Nina Bai and Kim Lobb bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to this area with their advanced training in jaw dysfunction. Symptoms can include clicking or popping with opening or closing of the mouth, pain around the jaw joints, locking of the jaw, headaches and an improper bite (teeth do not fit together properly). Most often, TMD can be treated conservatively. However, it is important that a qualified clinician such as a specially trained and experienced Shelbourne Physiotherapist assess you for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment program.
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)
The most common dysfunctions associated with the TMJ are inflammation, jaw pain, muscle imbalances, hypomobility, and hypermobilty. Synovium, retrodiscal tissue and the capsule can become inflamed in the TMJ causing pain and discomfort in the patient. There are a number of muscles which attach to and surround this joint and which are involved in chewing as well as other facial movements involving the jaw. Excessive chronic tension in the muscles connected with and surrounding the TMJ can cause not only local pain perception in the area of the jaw itself, but it can also create pain referral patterns through trigger points which cause regular annoyances of headaches, migraines, involuntary teeth grinding (Bruxism), gum or tooth related pain and even tinnitus (ringing of the ears).
What are the possible causes for TMJ dysfunction?
- Trauma to the joint–blow to the jaw or head
- Trauma from a motor vehicle accident (ICBC)
- Poorly fitting teeth or dentures
- Long periods with mouth held wide open during dental surgery
- Psychological factors such as stress, anxiety or depression
- Excessive stress to the joint from gum chewing, fingernail biting, yawning, chewing on a pen, chewing on ice, and grinding teeth
- Jaw abnormalities, missing teeth, poor bite (malocclusion)
- Resting the head in the hand
- Arthritis of the TMJ
- Dislocation of the disc
- Myofascial pain dysfunction
- Poor posture & Postural abnormalities, especially with a forward head posture
- Whiplash injury
- Prolonged mouth and upper respiratory breathing
- Thumb sucking
- Poor diet
- Lack of restful sleep
- Ligamentous laxity
- Birth/Congenital trauma
- Beacause TMJ is more common in women than men, scientists are exploring a possible link between female hormones and TMJ disorders.
What are the common signs and symptoms of TMJ dysfunction?
- Clicking or popping with opening or closing
- Pain at rest or with opening/closing of jaw
- Decreased ability to open the jaw (hypomobility)
- Neck, ear or facial pain
- Jaw muscle stiffness and muscle spasms
- radiating pain in the face, jaw or neck
- Tooth sensitivity
- Dry or burning sensation in mouth
- Uncomfortable bite
- Change in the way upper and lower teeth fit together
- Forehead or temple headache & decreased concentration
- Buzzing or ringing in ears
- Hearing loss
Our Victoria TMJ Specially Trained Shelbourne Physiotherapists