Temporo Mandibular Joint

Temporo Mandibular Joint Rehabilitation

Curezone Physiotherapy, Mississauga collaborates with a team of providers providing treatments in various orthopedic conditions including TMJ dysfunction. The Temporo Mandibular Joint (TMJ) is where the skull and lower jaw meet. TMD is not life-threatening; it can be detrimental to quality of life because the symptoms can become chronic and difficult to manage. The most important feature is pain, followed by restricted mandibular movement and noises from the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) during jaw movement. It is mainly an orthopedic condition which is generally treated by physiotherapists with specific training on it. TMJ physiotherapists have had extra training in the complex anatomy of the mouth, jaw and head and neck, along with the best evidence based management of TMD.

Do you have TMJ pain or TMJ dysfunction?

You may or may not experience jaw pain or tenderness with TMJ dysfunction.

Symptoms can include:

  • Pain in the jaw joints and facial muscles
  • Clicking, grinding or locking of the jaw
  • Headaches & Dizziness
  • Difficulty opening or closing the mouth comfortably
  • Pain on talking, chewing & yawning
  • Stuck open or closed jaw.
  • Pain in your neck and head.
  • Ringing in the ears.
  • Blocked ear sensation.
  • Referred TMD pain that is felt as head, ear of tooth ache.

Causes of Pain or dysfunction:

  • Trauma, for example a blow to the jaw either directly to the joint or elsewhere on the jaw.
  • Overactivity of the jaw muscles from continuous clenching or grinding the teeth.
  • Wear and tear of the cartilage inside in the joint
  • Arthritis
  • Poor posture
  • Increased sensitivity to pain linked to stress.
  •  Removal of wisdom teeth,
  • Prolonged mouth opening eg dental procedure 
  • Myofascial pain
  • Whiplash and other less common causes include: trauma
  • Derangement/displacement of TMJ articular disc
  • Bruxism: nocturnal grinding of teeth leads to increased pressure in TMJ and asymmetrical movement.
  • Occlusal Problems: Poor bite, underbite, overbite

TMJ Assessment

During your TMJ examination, your Craniofacial or TMJ Physiotherapist will assess your:

  • jaw range of motion, 
  • muscle tension and length, 
  • TMJ co-ordination and movement pattern. 

Your TMJ Physiotherapist will be able to identify if your problem is an opening issue. 

TMJ Opening problems include:

  • Muscle disorder,
  • TMJ (joint) disorder: hypermobility, stiffness or arthritis,
  • TMJ disc displacement disorder: intermittent or permanent lock, or a
  • cervical spine posture issue.

Problems with TMJ Closing include:

  • a locked open joint, which can be manipulated open.

TMJ Physiotherapy treatment

As a general rule TMJ opening disorders (how the jaw moves when opening or closing) are more likely to be successfully treated with jaw movement improvement techniques. This include massage, dry needling/acupuncture, muscle stretch/relaxation/coordination exercises or joint capsule stretching techniques that are provided by your physiotherapist.

If you are not sure of what treatment is best for you, we recommend that you seek the advice of your TMJ physiotherapist for pain, clicking or lack of motion when opening your mouth your dentist for problems when you clench your teeth. TMJ physiotherapy is normally very successful for the treatment of TMJ opening disorders due to the problem being a movement disorder that is affected by your muscle and joint control.

Curezone physiotherapists in our Mississauga location can help your TMJ using education, mixed manual therapy techniques, upper cervical mobilization or manipulation,advice about TMD symptom control and improvement in maximum mouth opening. Manual techniques included intra-oral myofascial release and massage therapy on masticatory muscles and neck mobilisation.

What to avoid if you have TMJ Pain?

  • Chewing heavy meats, nuts, raw carrots etc.
  • Taking big bites into burgers, apples etc.
  • Do not chew gum or bite your nails
  • Avoid intentionally clicking your jaw or clenching your teeth
  • Limit your speaking if it is an aggravating factor
  • Slouching or poor posture at your desk.

How Long Does it Take to Recover from Temporomandibular Dysfunction?

TMJ dysfunction usually takes around four to six weeks of rehabilitation. The treatment includes appropriate exercises and instructions on activities to avoid. 

Our goal is to Relief your pain, minimize the stiffness and Restore normal function and mobility as soon as possible.

If you have been diagnosed with TMJ pain or dysfunction and or suffering with any of the above symptoms, call us now and book for a free initial physiotherapy consultation.