Jaw (Temporomandibular joint) Dysfunction

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TMD-TMJ Physio Jaw Geelong

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)

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.

Symptoms 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).

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction:

The most common dysfunctions associated with the TMJ are inflammation, muscle imbalances, hypomobility, and hypermobilty. The synovium, retrodiscal tissue and the capsule can become inflamed in the TMJ causing pain and discomfort.

Possible causes for TMJ dysfunction:

  • Trauma to the joint; a blow to the jaw or head
  • Excessive stress to the joint from gum chewing, fingernail biting, yawning, chewing on a pen, chewing on ice, and grinding the teeth
  • Jaw abnormalities, missing teeth, poor bite (malocclusion)
  • Resting the head in the hands
  • Arthritis of the TMJ
  • Dislocation of the disc
  • Myofascial pain dysfunction
  • Postural abnormalities, especially with a forward head posture
  • Whiplash injury
  • Prolonged mouth and upper respiratory breathing
  • Thumb sucking
  • Ligamentous laxity
  • Birth/Congenital trauma

Common signs and symptoms of TMJ dysfunction:

  • Clicking or popping with opening or closing
  • Pain at rest or with opening/closing of the jaw
  • Decreased ability to open the jaw (hypomobility)
  • Neck pain
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Dry or burning sensation in the mouth
  • Uncomfortable bite
  • Forehead or temple headache
  • Buzzing or ringing in ears
  • Hearing loss