Jaw Pain Treatment in Perth
It is estimated that as much as 50% of the population suffer from jaw pain or a clicking jaw at some stage in their life 1. The joint in your jaw is referred to as the temporo-mandibular joint or more commonly, the TMJ. There are 2 TMJ joints, one on each side of your face. Each joint is formed between the temporal bone (which makes up part of your skull) and the mandible, your lower jaw bone. What makes the TMJ different to the usual joints in your body is that it contains a disc similar to those in your spine between the two surfaces forming the joint. The TMJ is designed this way to allow the joint to both slide and rotate.
Pain is the most common symptom when dealing with temporomandibular joint dysfunction. However, many people also experience catching, locking, clicking, jaw fatigue, headaches, earaches and neck pain. There are many different causes of jaw pain and TMJ dysfunction, which can range from tight muscles or joint dysfunction to dental problems.
Dental work for example, having a filling or tooth extraction can be a cause of TMJ derangement especially if the work was under anaesthetic and / or took a long time. A tooth filling that is too thick or high can also put extra pressure on the TMJ and cause the joint to malfunction.Direct trauma to the TMJ is also a common cause of injury. This may be due to a car accident or a blow to the face (as can occur in boxing, wrestling, rugby or hockey).Poor posture or incorrect chewing can also be a cause of a slow onset TMJ dysfunction.
The TMJ is a complex joint but our chiropractors are well trained in the diagnosis and treatment of jaw pain. They will assess you to determine if the problem you are experiencing is suitable for Chiropractic care and if so tailor a management plan that will best suit your needs. Treatment may consist of chiropractic manipulation/mobilisation to either your jaw or neck and muscle release to the muscles involved in jaw motion. Often we need to work on jaw posture and improve the way you use your jaw muscles. Jaw muscles are like any other muscle of the body, they may need stretching or strengthening depending on the problem.
Sometimes, we need to work closely with your dentist if we decide that a dental splint may assist with unloading the joint or by getting the dentist to change the shape of a filling that may be too thick.If you would like to know more about how to fix your jaw pain or how to cure a clicking jaw, please give us a call.
1. Carnes M and N Vizniak 2009. Quick Reference Evidence-Based Conditions Manual. Canada Professional Health Systems Inc.