Jaw & TMJ
TMJ – Temporomandibular Joint
What is the TMJ?
The TMJs act as sliding hinge joints connecting your jaw to your skull bone on either side of your head.
How does the Jaw work?
More specifically, the TMJ is a joint between the mandible and temporal bones and is an integral player in many daily functions such as chewing, speaking, fascial expressions and swallowing. Due to a poor joint surface area congruency (how well the two bones fit together), the Temporomandibular joint or TMJ (jaw) has a small cartilaginous disc that sits in between the two bones and helps improve the stability of the joint. This disc within the TMJ allows a smooth interplay between the jaw bones and helps absorb shock during movements of the jaw.
What can go wrong?
Problems associated the jaw (TMJ) can be caused by acute injury (mild, moderate or severe trauma to the head, face or neck region), poor posture either at work or at home (for example while sleeping), mental stress (clenching or grinding of the teeth), poor strength in the neck and/or tension in the muscles of the head, neck and face. Generally, jaw problems fit into one of three categories; arthritis (rare), pain relating to the disc itself (rare), or more commonly, pain associated or caused by muscles that have an influence on the movement of the TMJ, for example muscles in the neck, face, and/or head. If you experience pain in the jaw or facial region, painful clicking or popping noises of the jaw, a dislocating TMJ, an altered bite (the way the top and bottom teeth fit together when closed) or limited movement/locking of the jaw, we’re here to help!
How can our team of health professionals help?
Our Ottawa based team of Physiotherapists, Chiropractors and Registered Massage Therapists are specially trained in dealing with problems related to the jaw (TMJ), face and neck regions. We work closely with allied health providers such as Dentists and Orthodontists in an effort to provide the best collaborative evidence-based care available. Our therapists begin with a thorough consultation and examination. Our goal is to thoroughly asses your pain/problem and decide on the most effective and efficient treatment method for each particular problem. Our team utilizes treatments such as PNF, myofascial release, ART®, intraoral manual therapy, dry needling and medical acupuncture, along with targeted exercise therapy to effectively rehabilitate and strengthen the TMJ and surrounding region.