Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)
Have been told by your Doctor or Dentist that you have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) or TMJ syndrome?
You may have had multiple health professionals mention this in passing. You often get a locked jaw with moderate to severe headaches when you wake up and occasional ringing in the ears or even vertigo/dizziness.
Your partner often says that you grind your teeth in your sleep and you rarely wake up feeling refreshed. During the day you your jaw locks up when you take big bites of food. Your teeth grinding worsens when you are more stressed but it comes and it goes, and you take painkillers for a few days until it eventually goes away.
You may still experience frequent headaches without obvious triggers and now it’s affecting your focus at work. You find it difficult to concentrate on your computer screen and your head feels heavier and heavier. Your neck becomes stiff and sore easily, and the feeling of frustration and increased stress sets in.
This scenario is all too common for those suffering from TMD as they often manifest themselves as headaches around the temples or in the base of the skull, and may not be as noticeable in the jaw anymore.
Far too many people suffer from ongoing TMD symptoms and just accept this fact, but you don’t have to live like this -- there is help available!
How do I fix my jaw pain?
TMD may or may not be impacting on your ongoing headaches, and therefore treatment will often be aimed at many other factors such as your neck. Your physiotherapist will also assess your TMJ, neck and head during the detailed examination process.
Once TMD is confirmed, treatment will consist of education around proper sleep hygiene, pain education, mental and physical stressors, as well as self-management techniques such as trigger point massage and strengthening techniques for the surrounding structures.
How long will my jaw pain last?
The structures in the TMJ are very sensitive and are often used frequently (e.g. speaking and eating) each day therefore aggravation during your recovery is likely. It is not uncommon to require 8-12 weeks to recover from TMD
During your recovery, an individualised rehabilitation program is crucial to promote tissue healing and optimal joint function. Having a clear management plan linked to your goals will set you up to win!
Don't let your jaw pain stop you from enjoying life any longer. Book an appointment now.