Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorders

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorders

The temporomandibular joint acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. There is one joint on each side of your jaw. It is a small joint that is localized in front of your ear. Many people have headaches or pain and tenderness around that region and don’t realize that it might be related to a jaw issue.

TMJ disorders (also called TMJ syndrome or TMJ dysfunction) can be divided into 3 subcategories that often co-exist together: myofascial pain dysfunction (muscles tenderness or “nodes”), internal derangement (issues inside the joint), and osteoarthrosis of your jaw.

It is estimated that up to 50% of the population have symptoms caused by TMJ problems. Females are usually affected more often than males (4:1 ratio) and people aged 20 to 40 years old also have a higher rate of incidence.


Potential causes include TMJ synovitis or disc derangement, hyper/hypomobile TMJ, bruxism (grinding teeth), muscle spasms in jaw muscles, past head or facial trauma (possibly from a motor vehicle accident or other form of trauma), psychosocial stress, poorly fitting dentures, dental conditions, osteoarthrosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Signs and Symptoms

In 80% of the cases, patients experienced jaw or facial pain. Other signs are increased pain when chewing; locking, clicking, grinding, popping, or a decrease in range of motion of your jaw; headaches; earaches; and even neck pain.

What can we do about it?

At YOUR HEALTH Wellness Centre, we have many different professionals that can have a look at your head, neck, and TMJ to insure proper diagnosis and treatment.

The treatment frequency will depend on the condition and duration of your symptoms. It will mainly include soft tissue therapy by treating the trigger points (masseter, temporalis, pterygoids), massage and friction massage, hot packs, and TMJ or cervical manipulation or mobilisation. If you have pain while chewing or eating certain foods, we might also recommend that you change your diet temporarily.