Does your jaw click/pop or grind with movement? Do you clench and grind your teeth at night?Do you wake up with head pain – “like you have been wearing a hat that is too small” and you feel groggy as if you have not slept enough?
Then you just might have TMJD – Temporomandibular Joint Disorder/Dysfunction. It can also can be referred to as TMJ Syndrome.
The most common symptoms of TMJD are:
- Stiff jaw muscles
- A jaw that locks or has limited movement
- Painful clicking, popping, or grating in the jaw joint
- Pain in the chewing muscles or jaw joint
- Pain in the jaw, neck, or face
- Changes in the fit between upper and lower teeth
In most cases, it can be treated with self management and non surgical treatments. For more severe TMJD, simple things like eating and speaking can become challenging and painful.
Physical therapy exercises to strengthen and return the smoothest range of motion of the joint.
Manual therapy to relieve the pain and muscle tension, all available here at OSR. We can help you manage the symptoms, along side your dentist, who will be helping to provide mouth guards and bite realignment if needed.
It is difficult to pin point the exact cause of TMJD, but it can be related to extensive dental work, arthritis, jaw/head injury – “whiplash”. Frequently during dental work the jaw is left open for prolonged period of time which causes trauma on the muscles over time. Jaw injuries include any blows to the face and head. They can also be associated with car accidents that cause muscle tightening of all the neck and facial muscles.
Pain in the joint and surrounding muscles can be caused by the disk being not properly aligned, eroded or damaged by arthritis. The jaw muscles involved are temporalis, masseter, medial and lateral pterygoid.
Immediate treatment would be to eat softer foods, avoid chewing gum and opening the jaw extremely wide. Apply ice when needed. Also, try to chew evenly on both sides when eating as much as possible.
Then, come on in to OSR and get an evaluation, lets work together to reduce your pain and discomfort.