Jaw pain and TMJ problems

TMJ or Temporo Mandibular Joint treatment

Many patients come into our clinic asking us to “fix my TMJ” or say “can you fix my clicking jaw”.
Before we go into the details let us explain a little bit about what is a TMJ?
The jaw is a separate bone that attaches to the skull just in front of the ears. This joint is a complicated structure with un-even joint surfaces, a disc in between, a capsule and joint fluid.
Because the jaw is one bone with 2 joints, it has multiple angles of movement (side to side to allow for grinding food, up and down for biting & chewing as well as forward and back to allow for wide opening and speech.
To control all these possible movements and the combination of the movements, there are 6 pairs of muscles that work together to achieve this. If you are interested in the names of the muscles, they are:

  • Temporalis
  • Masseter
  • Lateral Pterygoid (upper and lower)
  • Medial Pterygoid
  • Hyoid

Causes of TMJ dysfunction (why the jaw might hurt or click)

Over or under bite (top teeth in front of or behind the bottom teeth)
Injury, whip lash, punch (boxing or fight), fall on face or head.
Fillings that are too high, tooth removal, tooth implants, false teeth, overstretching post root canal or other surgery, wisdom teeth growing in the wrong direction or not enough space for them. Braces or bands.
Incorrect chewing, chewing on one side, smoking on one side, stress, grinding teeth or clenching teeth.

Treatment of TMJ

If you live in Bentley, Cannington, East Cannington, Riverton, Queens park, Maddington or canning vale and you want your TMJ fixed or know someone who would like to get treatment for TMJ we offer:
Thorough assessment of the cause of the symptoms. This is the most important step in the process to make sure that the correct treatment is done. We assess range of movement, wear on the teeth, height of the teeth relative to each other, over bite etc.
We also work closely with your dentist if we need them to make any adjustments to your teeth. In some cases we also prescribe a mouth guard that could take the pressure off the jaw.
Treatment consists of mobilisation if there is joint stiffness, muscle treatment if one or more of the 12 muscles are tight or weak or has a trigger point, muscle strengthening and movement re-education if the pattern is not correct, electrotherapy including ultrasound if there is swelling in the joint.
We also give you a home program so you can help yourself and avoid future recurrences.
Please call Carousel Physiotherapy if you would like to start fixing your TMJ.