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The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a unique joint of the body between the lower jaw and the skull base. Disorders of the TMJ are one of the most common causes of pain in the face and mouth after tooth pain. There are many causes of TMJ dysfunction but dental changes are a common cause. Following changes to the mouth due to trauma or loss of teeth there is a large change in mechanics to the TMJ. This can increase stress on the joint itself as well as the muscles and other soft tissue structures around the face and head causing pain.

TMJ2

Physiotherapy can help to reduce the stress to the joint and soft tissue structures using a range of different treatment approaches including soft tissue massage, education, relaxation, exercises, manual therapy and acupuncture.

What are the symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders?

* Pain and tenderness over the jaw and face

* Headaches and ear pain

* Neck and shoulder pain

* Jaw joint clicking, grating noises

* Clenching of the jaw

* Grinding of teeth (Bruxism)

* Reduced mouth opening

* Locking of the jaw

It is widely regarded that the best modality of treatment is neuro-muscular reprogramming and muscle relaxation. The ideal team for such a management therefore includes a restorative dentist working alongside a craniofacial physiotherapist.