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Temporomandibular Joint Clinic

Woman with jaw painTemporomandibular joint dysfunction or “TMJ” syndrome is pain or tenderness in the jaw on one or both sides of the joint, there is aching pain that radiates into the ear, lateral neck or cheek. This may cause difficulty chewing, some locking or clicking in the joint or pain with talking for prolonged periods. This syndrome generally effects people from age 20-40 years of age. Although there is many causes of TMJ syndrome it can often be related to stress, anxiety, tooth grinding, clenching, trauma to the jaw, overbite, postural tension or postural dysfunction.

Diagnosis of your condition can be made using a physical examination, some functional tests and further imaging studies. An MRI image of the jaw is the gold standard in finding any underlying structural causes of TMJ syndrome.

Treatment Options

Your Chiropractor will explain all of the available therapies for your condition.

Physical therapy – Your chiropractor will use their fingers to massage the muscles around your jaw, they will then use gloves to enter the mouth and massage the muscles inside the mouth that surround the jaw. Some additional stretching and mobilisation of the jaw may also be required.

Exercises – Your Chiropractor will prescribe some exercises to help you maintain the gains made during your therapy. Your exercises will need to be completed at least 3 times per week. Exercises are normally sent through to your email or to your phone via our mobile phone app.

Laser Therapy – Cold Laser therapy is used to reduce inflammation in the joint. It may be a very powerful tool in reducing intrinsic joint inflammation naturally.

Grind Plate/Guard – A plate or plastic guard can be used to reduce the effects of grinding and clenching on your upper and lower teeth. We stock the Myomunchy, a rubber mouth guard that is used during the night to reduce the stress on your teeth. These guards can often be made custom by your dentist. Custom plates are a much better alternative if you suffer from sleep apnoea or other respiratory conditions.

Botox injections – These injections can be used by your dentist to relax the muscles around your jaw. This may last for up to 3 months before needing to be re applied.

Anti inflammatory medication – Several medications including Panadol, Ibuprofen and voltaren can be used to reduce capsular swelling and soreness associated with TMJ syndrome. Your Chiropractor can assist in formulating a plan for when and for how long this medication can assist you.

Advice – The right advice when dealing with TMJ syndrome can be paramount to your recovery.

Other Causes of Orofascial Pain:

Dental Conditions

  • Caries
  • Tooth abscess
  • Tooth eruption
  • Otological conditions
  • Acute otitis media
  • Otitis externa (acute or malignant)
  • Mastoiditis
  • Eustachian tube dysfunction

Headache Disorders

  • Tension type headaches
  • Migraines
  • Cluster headaches

Neurogenic Conditions

  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Postherpetic neuralgia
  • Glossopharyngeal neuralgia
Inflammatory Conditions

  • Temporal arteritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Parotitis
  • Mandibular fracture/dislocation
  • Temporal bone fracture

Atypical Facial Pain

  • Sinusitis
  • Eagle syndrome (stylohyoid syndrome)

woman with headache

Signs your condition may require a referral to a Specialist:

  • Persistent and worsening pain
  • Trismus
  • Cranial nerve abnormalities
  • Neurologic dysfunction
  • Concurrent infection
  • Systemic illness
  • Weight loss
  • Asymmetrical neck or facial swelling
  • Unilateral hearing loss
  • Vestibular dysfunction
  • New onset or unilateral tinnitus

Relief From Pain

Do you have any questions, or want to know if we can help you? Contact us today and we would be happy to help!

Schedule your appointment

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Clinic Essendon VIC | (03) 9379 5425