What is temporomandibular joint disorder/dysfunction? (TMJD)

This is an umbrella term for dysfunction of the jaw, or the joint between the temporal bone and mandible with associated muscles, connective tissue and nerves. The condition is often associated with nervous system disorders, or stress, and often affects structures of the head, neck, shoulders and chest.

Do you experience any of the following symptoms?

• pain, clicking, shifting, popping or sticking when you open and close your mouth.
• stiffness in opening and closing mouth or even locking of the jaw.
• headaches, a sense of pulling or constriction, or pain, in the teeth, ears, jaw, neck or face.
• swelling, numbness or tingling in the jaw/face.

While not necessarily indications of a disorder unless experienced over extended time, they are indications to receive treatment from an RMT! And speaking firsthand it feels amazing!

Indicators for treatment include:

• Are you scheduled for lengthy dental work or jaw surgery?
• Do you grind or clench your teeth?
• Do you have mechanical trouble with speech?
• Are you a vocal performer, or do you have a voice practice?

Receiving treatment for any of the above indicators will ultimately improve the fluidity and freedom of jaw movement providing a sense of greater ease in chewing, speaking, and singing. Releasing the hold of the musculature and correcting the positioning of the joint over time will reduce pain, clicking, stiffness and tingling etc.

What you can expect from treatment:

While work to the scalp, neck and head can be extremely relieving and relaxing, specific work to the muscles of mastication (chewing muscles) can feel very intense. These muscles may be accessed in the head above the ears, through the side of the face and inside the mouth behind the teeth. If indicated your therapist may use gloves to access those internal muscles, which may cause some tearing up and a need for deep breathing, the effect of which is deeply relieving.

Your therapist will provide you home care to augment the treatment, providing you with tools for self care between treatments.

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