Temporomandibular joint Disorder
What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the jaw joint, connecting the lower jaw and upper jaw. If you place a finger in front of your ears and bite down a few times, you’ll feel your TMJ moving. When the jaw is misaligned individuals may feel symptoms of pain related to this neuromuscular condition. TMJ issues are not one single condition, rather it encompasses a multitude of different conditions as a result of jaw misalignment.
What causes TMJ?
TMJ disorders are incredibly common and have a variety of different cause. Repetitive use can have an effect. Here is a list of the most common cause of TMJ disorder:
- Trauma to the face, head and neck
- Poor posture
- Clenching and grinding of the teeth
- Misaligned bite
Symptoms of TMJ
Symptoms of TMJ can gradually develop over time or occur quite suddenly, if left untreated it can lead to serious disabilities. Quite often, a simple behavioural modification is suffice to resolve the issue. TMJ disorders are a degenerative disease, which means they do not get better without treatment. When left untreated, individuals will experience progressively worsening jaw pain, periodontal disease and premature wear of their teeth. Here is a list of common symptoms of a TMJ dysfunction:
- Grinding noises when jaw is moving
- Clicking or popping noise when chewing
- Pain around the jaw joint
- Limited jaw movement
- Sleep Apnea
Physiotherapy for TMJ
Physiotherapy is the primary medical treatment for TMJ disorders. It’s the first tool in the toolbelt that patients, dentists and doctors alike reach for — mainly due to its effectiveness and non-invasive treatment options. A physiotherapist in Calgary will introduce muscular strengthening exercises that will increase the strength of mastication muscles (muscles around the jaw). Additionally, exercises that improve the jaws range of motion as well as its stability will be introduced. Acupuncture for TMJ is also regarded as an effective treatment, it can help alleviate pain and discomfort associated with the condition.
Brentwood Physiotherapy have TMJ Specialists
Brentwood Physiotherapy has a team of physiotherapists in Calgary with experience and expertise in the treatment of TMJ issues. With over 25+ years of working alongside dentists, doctors and surgeons, our physiotherapists are proud to be the primary referral for the majority of TMJ related disorders in Calgary. This experience has given our team of physiotherapists the experience needed to properly assess and treat TMJ patients with confidence. Our physiotherapists will tailor a personalized treatment plan to each patient’s specific condition in order to improve strength, restore stability and eliminate pain.