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Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)

What is Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction?

TMD occurs when there is a problem with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This is the joint that allows us to move our jaw, chew, talk, swallow, and yawn. This joint is susceptible to injury due to its unique design and frequent use. Joint capsule, disc, muscles, fascia, bones, and nerves in the jaw, head, or neck can all be a source of jaw pain. Other contributing factors may include family history, injury to the face or jaw, incorrect jaw alignment, injury to the back or neck, joint or disc degeneration, poor posture, and STRESS.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

  • Pain in the jaw, teeth, face, ear, eye, head, or neck
  • Noises such as clicking and popping
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Jaw clenching
  • Teeth grinding
  • Altered bite
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea
  • Ringing in the ears and hearing changes
  • Difficulty swallowing and tightness in the throat
  • Sensations in the face and/or jaw
  • Snoring

How Can Donna Sarna Physiotherapy Help?

At Donna Sarna Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation an assessment is performed evaluating posture (position of the jaw, tongue and neck) , range of motion of the neck and jaw, assessment for swelling, muscle spasm and stiffness or hyper mobility of one or both of the TMJ.

An individualized treatment plan will be developed based on assessment findings.   Treatment from our experienced physiotherapists can help decrease pain, swelling, muscle spasm and tightness.  It can also improve jaw mobility, stability, function, posture, and prevent reoccurrence. TMD treatment may include education, especially involving posture, myofascial release , craniosacral therapy, joint mobilization techniques, modalities (e.g. heat, ice, ultrasound, TENS), acupuncture, exercises and/or relaxation techniques.