Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

What is Temporomandibular joint dysfunction?

 Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) behaves like a sliding hinge, joining your jawbone with your skull. TMJ disorders can cause pain in joints of jaw and in the muscle that controls the movement of jaw.

The main cause of a person’s TMJ disorder is usually difficult to determine. Your pain might be due to a combination of multiple factors such as genetics, arthritis or jaw injury. Sometimes people who are suffering from jaw pain also tend to grind their teeth, although many people habitually grind or clench their teeth and never develop TMJ disorders. In most of the cases, the pain and discomfort which is associated with TMJ disorders is temporary and it can be relieved with some self-managed care or treatments which are not surgical. Surgery is usually the last resort after conservative measures have already failed, but some people with TMJ disorders may get benefit from surgical treatments.


There are many possible causes of TMJ disorders. Some known causes include:

  • physical injury
  • arthritis
  • grinding or clenching the teeth during sleep
  • autoimmune diseases
  • dental surgery
  • infections


Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders may include:

  • Pain or tenderness of your jaw
  • Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints
  • Aching pain in and around your ear
  • Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
  • Aching facial pain
  • Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close your mouth


Risk factors

Factors that increase the risk of developing TMJ disorders include:

  • Various types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Jaw injury
  • Long-term (chronic) grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Certain connective tissue diseases that cause problems which may affect the temporomandibular joint

Physical therapy for Temporomandibular joint dysfunction

Physical therapist at SOS PHYSIO can help you restore the natural movement of your jaw and decrease your pain. Based on your condition, your therapist will select treatments that will work best for you. This will help the disk move in a normal way, decrease pain, and increase motion.

There are many physical therapy treatments such as Manual therapy & Active Release Techniques (ART) are found to be very effective in treating this type of disorder.
For more information- Contact your local SOS PHYSIO clinic

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