• Danielle Slatter

TMJ Dysfunction

Updated: Jan 11

Do you have pain in your jaw? It might be stiffness, grinding, clicking, or even locking?

These are often symptoms of TMJ (temporomandibular joint) Dysfunction. This is a quite a common condition. The severity varies greatly, with some people experiencing only mild symptoms on occasion, while others suffer daily issues. Whether you’ve dealt with this for a long time or you’re just noticing your symptoms getting worse, now’s the time to take care of it.

So, what causes it? It’s often due to clenching of the jaw and/or grinding of the teeth. Tightening the muscles around the jaw is a common reaction to stress. This can happen as our bodies try to recover from a busy day as we sleep, or throughout the day as we deal with even mild stressors. I often joke with my clients, that it is sometimes the cost of being polite, not actually “biting our tongue” but just clenching our jaw!

Conventional care that most people talk about is usually limited to night guards, devices worn through the night to prevent grinding of the teeth. However, the problem with these is that they often don’t address the overall problem. A night guard protects the teeth, so they don’t wear down so much over time, and/or helps to realign the jaw to prevent an abnormal position of the joint as you sleep, but none of this addresses the clenching, the tightening of the muscles in that area that are at the root of the problem.

Studies have shown that massage therapy can help with the symptoms and pain associated with TMJ Dysfunction. The focus of this type of massage is on releasing the muscle tension and restrictions throughout the jaw, face, neck, chest, and upper shoulders.

That clenching of the jaw doesn’t just affect the TM joint, but rather all the muscles positioned throughout the head, neck, and shoulders that affect and are affected by that area. It’s important to work them all to address the problem and prevent others. If you have any form of TMJ Dysfunction, you’ve probably felt the neck tension and headaches that can come along with it.

You don’t have to live with the pain. During a massage I can help treat the condition at the source.

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