Temporomandibular Joint Pain

What is TMJ?

The TMJ is located in front of your ear, below your temple, and is a part of the body that we use many times during the day when we talk, yawn, chew food, etc.  Usually, you are only aware of it when it becomes painful.

What Causes TMJ Syndrome?

TMJ syndrome is pain in the jaw joint that can be caused by a variety of medical problems.  Possible causes include:

  • Trauma to the joint (blow to the jaw or head)
  • Arthritis of the TMJ
  • Excessive stress to the joint (grinding teeth)
  • Dislocation of the disc
  • Jaw abnormalities, missing teeth, poor bite    
  • Myofascial pain dysfunction
  • Resting the head on the hand
  • Postural abnormalities

Common Signs of TMJ Syndrome

  • Clicking or popping with opening / closing jaw
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Pain at rest or with opening / closing jaw
  • Dry or burning sensation in the mouth
  • Decreased ability to open jaw
  • Uncomfortable bite
  • Neck pain
  • Forehead or temple headache
  • Buzzing or ringing in the ears

Typical Management of TMJ syndrome

  • Habit modification
  • Diet modification
  • Hot / cold packs
  • Dental appliance
  • Positioning
  • Postural awareness / training
  • Home stretching or strengthening exercises for the jaw and neck
  • Postural correction and relaxation exercises
  • Manual stretches and mobilization of the jaw and neck

Tips for protecting your jaw

  • Rest your muscles and joints by eating soft foods
  • Do not chew gum
  • Avoid clenching or tensing
  • Relax your muscles with moist heat or ice
  • Always follow your dentist or physician’s advice regarding the use of oral applicant as prescribed

What you can expect at GoodLife 

Our highly experienced physical therapists are skilled in treating TMJ disorders utilizing evidence-based treatment interventions that include orthopedic manual therapy techniques, soft tissue/joint mobilization, specific postural exercises, electro modalities, ultrasound, thermo modalities, and cryotherapy.


Tell a Friend