The Temporo-mandibular Joint connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull, enabling you to open your mouth and move the jaw from side to side. Such positioning and movement is controlled by the muscles attached to and surrounding the joint. In between the bones is a small shock absorbing disk to keep movement smooth and cushion the joint.
TMJ disorders can cause pain in the area of the joint and associated muscles and/or problems using the jaw. Both or just one of the joints may be affected. TMJ disorders can go from something as simple as a clicking jaw to affecting a person’s ability to speak, eat, chew and swallow. They can experience headaches, clicking and popping sounds, earache or being unable to open the jaw properly.
TMJ can be caused from many reasons, such as dental work, wearing a brace, chewing gum or whiplash.
The treatment involves both external deep tissue massage techniques to the face, neck and shoulders, and also internal to the mouth trigger point work.