TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) pain refers to the facial pain accompanying clenching, grinding and clicking sound.
Jaw Region Basic Anatomy
Jaw region is a true synovial joint as the junction between Mandible and Temporal bone. Inside the joint, there is a disc, seperating into upper and lower the joint space, which involves displacement and rolling according to motion of opening and closing mouth. Types of motion took place in TMJ includes Opening, Closing, Protusion, Retrusion and Lateral Motion.
Muscles for closing mouth, including Temporalis and Masseter, are stronger than those responsible for openning mouth, and lateral pytergoid for initiation forward displacement of disc. Jaw is an interesting area as it should involve symmetrical motions of both side TMJ. Either TMJ disfunction can cause same symptoms or opposite side compensation, resulting in non-problematic side TMJ developing symtoms later.
Because of close relationship with sublingual and neck muscles, forward head posture or neck tightness would further complicate TMJ dysfunction and result in chronic problems. To better evaluate TMJ functions, holistic examination of upper neck, opposite TMJ and lingual fascia tightness should all be considered and investigated.
TMJ Symptoms when being Dysfunction
- Clenching of teeth
- Grinding during Sleeping
- Jaw area facial pain
- Clicking or Pop sound during mouth Opening or Closing
- Jaw deviate to either side during mouth Opening or Closing
- Tension Headache
- Shoulder or Neck Pain
- Discomfort during chewing
How Traditional Chinese Medicine and Physiotherapy help?
- Postural Advise
Correct neck and head posture, relieve jaw stress.
- Acupuncture and Dry Needling
Relieve pain, and study suggests might help for cartilage regeneration.
- Cupping Therapy
Release muscle tightness, and improve circulation to the affected area.
- Massage and Manual therapy
Release muscle tightness, correct alignment and improve joint range of motion.
- Traditional Chinese Medicine
Improve body energy level, and promote balance of health.
- Exercise Therapy
Promote injuried tissue healing, improve function of affected area.
1) The system review reviewed the publication of Acupuncture / Laser Acupuncture treating Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, from 1990 to 2005. Four studies met the criterion, and showed results similar to those observed in groups treated with occlusal splints and were significantly superior than those obtained from placebo acupuncture-treated groups.
Fernandes, A., Moura, D., Silva, L. D., Almeida, E. D., & Barbosa, G. (2017). Acupuncture in Temporomandibular Disorder Myofascial Pain Treatment: A Systematic Review. Journal of Oral & Facial Pain and Headache, 31(3), 225-232. doi:10.11607/ofph.1719 (Read)