TMJ (temporal-mandibular joint/jaw) treatment is a specialised massage which focuses on the muscles working the jaw, with the aim of releasing tension, increasing range of movement and eliminating the pain associated with clenching or grinding of the teeth.
Issues dealt with during TMJ treatment
In Dental terms clenching and grinding fall under the heading of bruxism. However, from a massage point of view there is a difference. Clenching has a static holding pattern causing reduced range of motion in the jaw, whereas with grinding you have constant movement but the jaw muscle will fatigue easily. Pressure on the teeth when clenching or grinding can be anywhere between 300 – 3000 psi as opposed to chewing where it normally falls between 20 to 80 psi, so you can see how relaxing the muscles will help reduce the wear on the joint and teeth. TMJ treatment helps with clenching by improving the range of motion of the jaw muscles and easing the tight feeling caused by the holding of the static position. With grinding the muscles are overworked and TMJ treatment can be used to remove tissue waste and improve blood flow to area. During your first appointment your therapist will carry out an assessment and take a full history and appropriate treatment will be carried out for you.
Jaw pain can result from a wide variety of problems. Poor posture causing the head to be in a forward position is a major factor, as it forces the mandible forward, causing stress on the muscles responsible for the movement of the jaw. It can also result from such habits as nail-biting and chewing gum. This can cause headache and earache from tension in the facial muscles. Your therapist will take a full history and assess your condition to understand the underlying causes before the TMJ treatment and devise the most appropriate plan.
TMJ stands for the Temporomandibular Joint, the most complex joint in the body due to the movements involved in talking, chewing and yawning. Problems with the Jaw (TMJ disorder) can be caused by trauma, stress, clenching/grinding habit and osteoarthritis. Symptoms can include clicking, popping, locking of the jaw and limited ability to open and close. This condition can also result in pain in the neck/shoulder area, facial pain and jaw area pain. TMJ treatment can help this issue by easing out tension in the muscles and by helping restore muscle balance. Following your treatment, you will be given advice, appropriate to you, which will help you maintain this balance.