The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the hinge connecting your jaw to your skull. It’s a small joint with a big job: the TMJ allows you to move your jaw up and down and side to side, so you can talk, chew, and yawn. If you have a TMJ disorder, then you know this critical joint isn’t working the way it should. A TMJ disorder can cause pain in your jaw, face, head, neck, and shoulders. It can also cause clicking or popping sounds when you move your jaw and even headaches.
- What causes the pain in my jaw?
- How can physiotherapy help?
- What is the diagnosis for TMD?
- What can I expect from physiotherapy for TMD?
- What are the symptoms of TMJ pain?
- What can I do on my own to relieve pain?
- Seeing your dentist is a great move
- Pain in your jaw is common
- Additional Resources
- About the Author
- About Bergin Motion
What causes the pain in my jaw?
If you are experiencing pain in your jaw, it is likely due to a TMJ disorder. A TMJ disorder can be caused by several factors, including:
This is a common cause of TMJ disorder. When the cartilage in your joint wears down, it can cause pain and inflammation.
If the ball portion of your joint becomes dislocated, it can cause pain and limited jaw movement.
Teeth grinding (bruxism)
This habit can put a lot of stress on your TMJ, causing it to become painful.
Clenching is similar to teeth grinding, but it often happens during the day when you are stressed. Clenching can also lead to headaches.
If you have injured your jaw, it can cause pain and inflammation in the joint.
If you have poor posture, it can put unnecessary stress on your jaw and lead to pain.
Bad Eating Habits
Chewing on hard foods, chewing gum, and biting your nails can all put stress on your TMJ and lead to pain.
How can physiotherapy help?
At Bergin Motion, we are experts in relieving pain caused by a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Our therapists have specialized training to work with clients to relieve pain and improve function in the jaw. We use a variety of techniques to release the muscles and fascia around the TMJ, as well as mobilize the joint itself. This can help to reduce pain, increase range of motion, and improve function.
We also work with clients to help them identify and change any behaviours that may be aggravating their TMD. This may include things like teeth grinding, clenching, poor posture, and bad eating habits.
In addition, we can provide education on how to manage TMD flare-ups and pain. We will work with you to create a personalized plan to help you find relief and get back to your life.
If you are suffering from TMJ disorder, don’t wait any longer to get help. Contact Bergin Motion today to book an appointment.
What is the diagnosis for TMD?
Many times, other diseases might have comparable symptoms to TMD, such as teeth and bone loss or arthritis in the jaw. However, your physiotherapist can determine what is causing your problem by examining your medical history during an assessment.
What can I expect from physiotherapy for TMD?
At Bergin Motion, we will do a thorough assessment of your jaw and facial muscles, as well as your TMJ. We will also assess your posture and how you move your jaw. Based on our findings, we will develop a customized treatment plan to address your specific needs.
The goal of physiotherapy for TMD is to reduce pain and improve function. We may use a variety of techniques to achieve these goals, including:
- Joint mobilization
- Soft tissue release
- Muscle re-education
- Postural education
During your physiotherapy sessions, we will also provide you with home exercises to help manage your symptoms and prevent further injury.
If you are suffering from TMJ pain, physiotherapy can help. Contact Bergin Motion to book an assessment with one of our expert therapists.
What are the symptoms of TMJ pain?
The most common symptom of TMJ pain is a dull, aching pain in the jaw. This pain can radiate to your face, neck, shoulders, and even your ear. Other symptoms of TMJ pain include:
- Clicking or popping sounds when you move your jaw
- Jaw pain when you chew
- Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact Bergin Motion to book an assessment with one of our expert physiotherapists.
What can I do on my own to relieve pain?
If you are in pain, seeing a healthcare practitioner who specializes in TMJ disorders is your best bet. However, there are some things that you can implement at home on your own. These include:
- Eating softer foods can help to take the pressure off of your jaw.
- Avoiding gum chewing. Chewing gum can cause your jaw muscles to fatigue.
- Applying heat or ice to your jaw can help to relieve pain.
- Practicing relaxation techniques. We hold tension in our jaw and by learning to relax the jaw muscles we can help to reduce pain.
- Applying ice to your jaw will help to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Doing gentle jaw stretches, such as opening your mouth wide and moving your jaw from side to side.
- Practicing good posture. Surprisingly posture plays an important role in TMD. By maintaining good posture, you can take the pressure off of your jaw and ease the pain.
If you are suffering from TMJ pain, there are things that you can do at home to help ease your symptoms. However, if the pain persists, it is important to see a healthcare practitioner.
At Bergin Motion, we specialize in the assessment and treatment of TMJ disorders. Contact us today to book an appointment
Seeing your dentist is a great move
If you are in severe pain, in addition to seeing your physiotherapist, booking an appointment with your dentist is also a wise move. Dentists are also adept at diagnosing and treating TMJ disorders.
Your dentist will examine your teeth and jaw to determine if there is any damage or misalignment. They may also recommend that you get a mouthguard to wear at night as grinding teeth is a common problem that can lead to TMD.
A mouthguard will help to protect your teeth from any further damage and also give your jaw a chance to rest. Resting your jaw will give your muscles a chance to relax which will help to relieve pain.
In some cases, your dentist may also recommend orthodontic treatment to align your teeth and improve your bite.
Your physiotherapist and dentist will work together to create a comprehensive treatment plan to ease your TMJ pain.
If you are suffering from TMJ pain, contact Bergin Motion today to book an assessment with one of our expert physiotherapists.
Pain in your jaw is common
Our jaw muscles do a lot of work. Pain in the jaw is common and it happens to more people than you think. TMD can be quite painful, and it can make everyday tasks such as talking and eating quite difficult.
If you are experiencing pain in your jaw, there are things that you can do to ease the pain. Applying ice or heat to the area can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
Practicing relaxation techniques and doing gentle jaw stretches can also help to ease symptoms.
If the pain persists, it is important to see a healthcare practitioner who specializes in TMJ disorders.
At Bergin Motion, we specialize in the assessment and treatment of TMJ disorders.
Physiotherapy can be an effective treatment option for TMJ pain. If you are in pain, physiotherapy can help to ease your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
During your physiotherapy sessions, we will also provide you with home exercises to help you manage your symptoms and prevent further injury.
Don’t delay and book your initial assessment today. Let’s work together to get you feeling better and back to your regular activities pain-free!
The Mayo Clinic has a paper on the symptoms and causes of TMJ disorders.
Learn more about TMJ disorders from Healthline.
About the Author
Sybille Bergin PT is a certified physiotherapist and one of the owners of Bergin Motion. Bergin Motion is a family-run Barrie Physiotherapy Clinic located in Barrie’s Southend. Sybille has been providing in-home physiotherapy for over 30 years. She specializes in treating acquired brain injuries, stroke recovery, and other related ailments. Sybille is a certified NDT practitioner. Neuro Development Therapy is a specialized hands-on treatment technique that promotes mobility, balance, core strength, and gross motor skills in a playful, fun, and dynamic way. Sybille leads a team of dedicated professionals providing first-class therapy at Bergin Motion to Barrie Ontario and surrounding areas.
About Bergin Motion
The clinic in Barrie specializes in orthopedic, neurological, and pelvic health disciplines.
Bergin Motion treats clients both at their clinic and in the comfort of their own home if they cannot travel to the clinic.
Located in the south end of Barrie, Ontario, the physio clinic boasts 9000 sq. ft., with seven treatment rooms and a fully equipped gym.