What is the TMJ?
The Temporomandibular joint is the joint at the jaw, which also us to open and close our mouth. This joint connects the lower jaw, to the bone at the side of the head. These joints area flexible, so the jaw can move smoothly up and down, and from side to side. There is a soft disc between the two bones that meet, that allows shock absorption.
TMJ disorders are a group of conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement. Because of the complex movement and make-up of this joint, it can cause regular problems for people.
What are the signs and symptoms?
TMJ Dysfunction Classifications
The common presentations of TMJ dysfunction may be classified into three clinical diagnostic groups:
(Dworkin, S.F., LeResche, L. 1992)
What causes TMJ disorders?
Trauma to the jaw area may play a role in more TMJ disorders. For many people the symptoms can start without any particular reason.
Can my Physiotherapist diagnose a TMJ disorder?
TMJ dysfunction can be diagnosed by your physiotherapis, your dental practitioner or oral maxillofacial surgeon. They may recommend dental X-rays, CT scan or MRI to further investigate your condition.
How are the TMJ disorders treated?
After your TMJ assessment, your physiotherapist will commence corrective treatment. TMJ treatment includes:
While your TMJ physiotherapist is an expert in the treatment of opening disorders, your dentist may be required to provide a night splint.
If you would like more information jaw pain and TMJ conditions, or to arrange an appointment with the Physiotherapist at Advanced Physio West in Roscommon or Galway, please phone 090 6626023/ 086 3758169 or book online
Article by Paul Lennon (Physiotherapist)