TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joints. Acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. You have one joint on each side of your jaw.
TMD is a temporomandibular disorder, one or both of the temporomandibular joints may be affected, as the condition causes problems using the jaw and/or pain in the area of the joint and its associated muscles. These disorders can affect a sufferer’s ability to chew, swallow, speak, make facial expressions, and sometimes even to breathe.
TMDs often cause pain that may present itself as a migraine or sinus headache, an earache, and/or stiffness of the neck or shoulders. In reality, this pain involves the muscles of the head, face, and neck, as well as the jaw joints.
The exact cause of a person's TMJ disorder is often difficult to determine. Your pain may be due to a combination of factors, such as genetics, arthritis or jaw injury. Some people who have jaw pain also tend to clench or grind their teeth (bruxism), although many people habitually clench or grind their teeth and never develop TMJ disorders.
In most cases, the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders is temporary and can be relieved with conservative care or nonsurgical treatments.
*Surgery is typically a last resort after conservative measures have failed.
Fortunately, we can treat these conditions and their associated pain and discomfort!
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF A TMD?
The potential symptoms of TMDs may include any or all of the following:
HOW CAN I TELL IF MY TMJ IS DISPLACED ?
The best way to observe the action of the jaw joint is by placing your fingers on your jaw joints in front of your ears on the sides of your face. Carefully open and close your mouth, and you will be able to feel the movement. It should feel smooth, with no clicking or popping when opening, closing, or moving the jaw from side to side.
WHAT ARE THE CONSERVATIVE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
Treatment options depend on an individual patient’s condition, needs, and desired results.
The first line of conservative treatment will typically be the use of a splint or oral appliance. A TMJ splint is worn to reduce the stress on the jaw. This allows the muscles to function properly and may reposition the lower jaw to fall properly into the TMJ socket.
TMJ appliances are a conservative and reversible treatment option that may provide pain relief.
The second conservative treatment but not less important, is treating the muscles. A good release/massage on the muscles that conform the TMJ will help your joints and muscles to take out a lot of stress and will provide pain relief.
TIPS FOR TMD RELIEF:
Avoid chewing on gum, ice or anything too hard or sticky
Avoid caramel, apples, hard or crunchy foods
Avoid extreme jaw movements, as much as possible
Sleep on your back
Try to reduce any extra stress
TMJ massage can be uncomfortable but our approach with the TMJ massage program is as gentle as possible. The TMJ massage treatment can be a full session devoted to the muscles of the head, maxilla, neck and shoulders, or be incorporated into one of our relaxation treatments.
Book your next massage appointment and try TMJ therapy as an “Add on"!. That will be an additional 15 minutes to your massage treatment.