Center for Health & Wellness

The temporomandibular joint, also known as the TMJ, is the hinge joint of the jaw that allows one to open and close the mouth. The TMJ is a very intricate joint with muscles and ligaments surrounding and crossing the joint all working in sync to provide a smooth gliding motion to open and close the jaw. Even the slightest tension in one of the surrounding muscles can hinder this motion and lead to uneven gliding, resulting in discomfort or clicking/popping when chewing or opening and closing the jaw.

The majority of TMJ dysfunction cases can be resolved with conservative care through manipulation of the jaw, stretching/strengthening exercises of the surrounding musculature to correct any muscle imbalance that may exist, and class IV deep tissue laser therapy, which promotes tissue repair. A mouth guard may also be necessary for the early stages of treatment to prevent grinding at night which may alter or slow the recovery process.

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Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that this information is only for general knowledge; it is not to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment.