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How to Finally Get Rid of Jaw Pain or Clicking in Your Jaw!

What is TMJ pain or TMD?

Have you ever had jaw pain, pain when chewing or talking, constant headaches, neck pain or clicking in your jaw?

This may be symptoms of TMJ. In this article we will break down what exactly is TMJ pain or TMD and how you can begin releiving this pain even if it's been an issue in your life for decades!

What is TMJ or TMD?

TMJ stands for temperal-mandibular joint. Everyone has 2 of these joints and it’s what attaches your jaw to your face. 

When someone has pain in this joint it is defined as TMD (temporal-mandibular disorder), however most people prefer say they have TMJ problems.

Interesting Facts: 

  • 44.4% of the population is affected by TMD however on 3-4% actually seek treatment. 
  • TMD is often associated with neck pain and headaches. That is because the position of your neck is directly related to the contact of your teeth! 50% of patients have tension-type headaches which is something PT can help with.
  • TMD can originate from poor forward head posture, which can affect the range of motion of the jaw and muscle activity associated with jaw movement. This can cause pain when chewing, talking, and sleeping. 
  • TMJ issues are often associated with a click in the jaw. It may be painful, but doesn’t always have to be. What’s important to know is clicking in the jaw is NOT normal. Pain in the jaw and/or cheek area is also NOT normal.

These are all things physical therapy can help with!

What else causes pain in your jaw?

Random events can aggravate the TMJ area, causing the muscles to go into spasm and an inflammatory response. These events can include but are not limited to increased nail biting, nasal congestion causing increased snoring, chewing gum, chewing hard candy or chewier foods, and various events where you have your mouth opened for long periods of time.

The important thing to know is these issues can be resolved.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve had TMJ issues for 10+ years!

How can I get out of pain?

The jaw and muscles work just like any other body part in the body. If you injure any other body part, the first phase of recovery is REST. So, if you’re having jaw pain, avoid chewy food for several weeks. Avoid taking giant bites of food such as a huge bite of spaghetti or biting into a big sandwich

You can also rest by stifling your yawns! What is stifling a yawn?

It is when you look down and press your tongue against the back of your top teeth to prevent the jaw from opening to is max ability during a yawn. This will prevent the muscles in spasm from being placed in an intense stretch position.

These quick tips may seem annoying or like an inconvenience but they are very important in the initial steps to recovery. Gentle self-massage to the cheek area can also help the muscles relax. 

What if the pain presists?

This may be enough for some of you to get rid of your jaw pain, but isn’t the solution for everyone. If the pain is getting worse or not improving after a week or two of rest. Please seek professional advice from one of your local PT’s who have expertise in the area of TMJ.
We can use our training and  skill set to diagnosis more complicated issues involving the TMJ and help you return to your normal life.

Please see our recent testimonials on Instagram!
Our patients specifically seek out our specialists to fix their TMJ problems!