Skip to content HOLIDAY HOURS

What is TMJ syndrome?

severe mouth painTemporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome, also called temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint, which connects the lower jaw to the skull. This joint works in conjunction with associated muscles, ligaments, and tendons to coordinate actions such as yawning and chewing. When these components are not aligned correctly, the TMJ and surrounding structures may hurt and jaw movements may become painful.

Symptoms of TMJ syndrome include jaw soreness, headaches, limited range of motion at the jaw, difficulty chewing or swallowing, and clicking or popping of the jaw.

TMJ syndrome may arise from teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and overuse of jaw muscles in repetitive actions like chewing gum.

How can Bissell Clinic help?

There are many ways to treat TMJ syndrome successfully. Below, we describe our most common treatments to mitigate TMJ syndrome and its associated symptoms.

Ultrasound: This modality uses ultrasonic waves to break up scar tissue and increase blood flow to an area to expedite the healing process. This causes cavitation, the process by which gas bubbles in the tissue expand and contract, which encourages and assists cellular processes.

Chiropractic care: This approach to treating TMJ syndrome focuses on the release of tight muscles used in jaw movements such as chewing and swallowing. This may involve soft tissue massage, pressure point release, or traditional chiropractic adjustments, among other treatments. In restoring the balance between muscle tone and structural alignment, we can ensure that the pulley system that allows for jaw mobility is working efficiently and without pain.

Physical Therapy: With chronic cases of TMJ syndrome, physical therapy can help to re-establish motor patterns to eliminate jaw pain. This care involves stretching, jaw exercises, and education about behavior and activity modification to protect the integrity of the temporomandibular joint and therefore eliminate pain.

Studies investigating the efficacy of these interventions for TMJ syndrome:

Much research exists about the efficacy of conservative care in the treatment of TMJ syndrome. In the realm of traditional chiropractic care, a collaborative study by a team of chiropractic doctors and dentists demonstrated a significant decrease in TMJ pain following chiropractic work. This team also showed an increase in jaw range of motion across all subjects with the median increase of 9mm for jaw opening capacity [1]. Additionally, a 2021 study outlined the relative improvement across patients who underwent ultrasound therapy for TMJ syndrome. This study measured factors such as pain-free jaw movement capacity, jaw noise with movement, and ability to move the jaw, all factors which improved significantly with ultrasound treatment. These benefits were realized in the short and long terms alike with improvements 4 weeks following treatment and 6 months following treatment [2]. Therefore, ultrasound is a promising and reliable treatment for TMJ syndrome. Lastly, physical therapy has proven effective for the release of jaw tension as well as reduction of jaw clicking. In summary, these non-surgical options for TMJ syndrome are effective, non-invasive, and beneficial for the health of the joint as well as pain reduction.




Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Your Name


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.