TMJ Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome

Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome or TMJ is an umbrella term covering acute and chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint. The joint is one of two (one on each side of the head) that connect the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull. If the joints, muscles or ligaments that control and support the joint do not function correctly the result is TMJ syndrome.

The TMJ is placed under regular, repeated pressure and stress. This can be more damaging if the jaw is misaligned, the teeth do not meet (overbite or under-bite), they meet too soon on one side, the patient chews on one side more than the other, poor or repeated dentistry, teeth grinding and/or clenching, tooth ache and fractures to the facial bones to name but a few. Over a period of time, with repeated use, the joint may become less stable, placing added pressure on the ligaments, tendons, muscles and ultimately the joint itself. This will result in pain, restricted movement and some of the following disorders:

•          Biting or chewing difficulty, discomfort or pain

•          Clicking, popping, or grating sound when opening or closing the mouth

•          Dull, aching pain in the face

•          Earache (particularly in the morning)

•          Headache (particularly in the morning)

•          Hearing loss

•          Migraine (particularly in the morning)

•          Jaw pain or tenderness of the jaw

•          Reduced ability to open or close the mouth

•          Tinnitus

•          Neck and shoulder pain

•          Dizziness

•          In addition the jaw may become locked from opening the mouth too wide, including yawning

Related Therapies