Book now

Male manual visceral therapist masseur treats a young female patient. Head and ear massage.

Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are an extremely common group of conditions affecting the jaw joints, known as the temporomandibular joints (TMJs). This group of conditions are an extremely common cause of jaw pain which is typically localised over one or both the jaw joints/TMJs and often associated with other symptoms, including jaw joint clicking, grinding and jaw locking which can cause problems with common activities such as mouth opening, chewing, biting, yawning, laughing and kissing.

Typically, TMDs are caused due to trauma to the jaw due to extended mouth opening, following a visit to the dentist, chewing or biting down on hard foods like apples and meat. Other causes of TMDs include a direct blow to the face or inflammation within the jaw joint as well as osteoarthritis.

Jaw pain is usually associated with a TMD however other less common causes of jaw pain include ear, nose and throat problems, dental problems, neck problems and nerve problems. Rarely more serious conditions associated with the heart, blood vessels or brain amongst others can also be involved which is why prompt assessment is always recommended.

Dealing with TMDs can be challenging, but keep your chin up! With skilled assessment and targeted treatment, common causes of jaw pain and dysfunction can often improves and can be effectively managed. 

Physiotherapists are highly effective in the assessment and management of TMDs, particularly those involving the TMJs and associated tissues, however other healthcare providers can also assist in their management in some cases, including doctors, dentists and other allied health professionals.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew, and try to just grin and bear it. These conditions can last a while if not properly managed. Get proper guidance and gnaw away at the problem. 

If you’re chomping at the bit for more information book in to see Tony at our Ashwood clinic – available every Saturday morning.