Temporomandibular Disorders

  • TMDThe Temporomandibular joint is the hinge-joint that connects the jaw to the skull. It is located just in front of the ear on each side of the head. These joints are very flexible, allowing the mouth to open and close and move side-to-side smoothly during talking, chewing and yawning. There are several muscles attached to and surrounding the temporomandibular joint which control the joint’s position and movement.

    Problems with the temporomandibular joint commonly result in pain, difficulty chewing and eating and difficulty opening/closing the mouth. Often, these disorders are incorrectly called TMJ, for temporomandibular joint.

    The following conditions are common with disorders of the jaw and temporomandibular joint.

    If you experience any of the following symptoms, this program may help you.

    • Patients who experience pain or tenderness in the face, jaw, and neck when swallowing, chewing, biting, speaking, shouting, or yawning.
    • Patients with a limited ability to open the mouth or a jaw that gets "stuck" or "locked" in the open or closed mouth position.
    • Patients with clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the temporomandibular joint when opening or closing the mouth.
    • Patients with ear aches, ear pain with chewing, ear stuffiness or ringing.
    • Patients with chronic recurrent headaches.

    TMD Education

    If you're experiencing persistent pain or tenderness in your jaw and neck or if you can't open or close your jaw completely, you need to get help. Many people just try to wait it out or assume there's nothing that can be done, when in fact, our physical therapists, using manual therapy techniques, can help alleviate the pain.

    Patient Testimonial - Katasha Roberts

    Katasha Roberts could not open her jaw completely, and could not eat certain foods as chewing was difficult and painful. After trying a mouth guard, and even a liquid diet without success, she sought treatment from Chad Garvey at our Downtown Clinic. After 1-1/2 months she is now able to eat everything and chew without pain. She says "if there's hope for me, surely there is hope for everyone".