What are Temporomandibular Joint Disorders?

TMD is a condition that affects the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement. It can cause pain, clicking, popping, and difficulty opening and closing the mouth. There are two main types of TMD:

• Myofascial pain: This type of TMD is caused by the overuse or injury to the jaw muscles and can cause muscle pain and spasms in the face, neck, and shoulders.

• Internal derangement: This type of TMD is caused by a problem with the jaw joint itself, such as a dislocated disc or misalignment of the joint. It can cause a clicking or popping sound when opening and closing the mouth, as well as pain and difficulty moving the jaw.

Causes of TMD

TMD can be caused by a number of factors, including:

• Trauma to the jaw or face

• Grinding or clenching of teeth (bruxism)

• Arthritis

• Misalignment of the jaw or teeth

• Stress or anxiety

Symptoms and Signs of TMD

The symptoms and signs of TMD can vary depending on the type and severity of the condition, but they may include:

• Pain or tenderness in the jaw joint, face, neck, and shoulders

• Difficulty opening and closing the mouth

• Clicking, popping, or grinding sound when opening and closing the mouth

• Headaches

• Ear pain

• Locking of the jaw

Treatment Options for TMD

At our clinic, we offer a range of treatment options for TMD, including:

• Manual therapy: Our physiotherapists and chiropractors are skilled in using both intra-oral and extra-oral manual therapy techniques to alleviate TMD symptoms. These techniques can help improve jaw mobility, reduce pain and muscle tension, and improve joint function.

• Exercises: We also offer exercises to help stretch and strengthen the muscles that control jaw movement. Examples of exercises for jaw pain include:

  • Chin tucks: Sit with good posture and gently tuck your chin in towards your chest. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
  • Jaw opening and closing: Gently open and close your mouth, keeping your teeth slightly apart. Repeat 10 times.
  • Side-to-side jaw movement: Move your jaw slowly from side to side, keeping your teeth slightly apart. Repeat 10 times.
  1. Splints: In some cases, we may recommend using a splint to help alleviate TMD symptoms. A splint is a custom-made device that fits over the teeth and helps to reduce teeth grinding and clenching, which can contribute to TMD symptoms.

Other conditions we can help with

Ready to see one of our Physios, Chiros, Exercise Physiologists, Dietitians, or Podiatrists?

Call us on 02 8428 0555 to make a booking.

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