Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) occurs when the temporomandibular joint suffers from muscle imbalances due to surrounding muscles. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located just in front of each ear on the face. This is where the temporal bone of the skull connects with the lower jaw. Similar to other joints in your body, this joint is covered with cartilage and composed of two parts, which are separated with a meniscus (a small disc). When the left and right TMJ are not working in unison, the meniscus can slip out and cause severe discomfort. In addition, if these muscles are not working together it can lead to stiffness, headaches, ear pain, and locked jaws.

A number of behaviors and conditions can lead to TMD, such as teeth grinding and teeth clenching, habitual gum chewing, dental problems, trauma to jaws, stress, and occupational tasks.

There are several symptions of TMD that include:

In most situations, pain will occur on only one side of the face and in the surrounding area of the joint, not specifically in it. Most severe jaw tightness tends to be after waking up and during stressful periods due to clenching and grinding.

Most treatments teach techniques to relax, stretch, and strengthen the face and the surrounding muscles. The treatment may include postural corrections, ultrasounds, and electrical stimulation.

    • Arching pain in the front of the ear
    • Difficult to open jaw
    • Clicking and/or grating sensation during chewing
    • Sensitive jaw muscles
    • Frequent headaches

    Certified Physiotherapists are available to provide information and treatment options for those interested in learning more.

Specific Techniques


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