Integrative Health Blog

Understanding TMJ to Optimize Treatment

Posted by on Wed, Feb 11, 2015

Holistic Family Dental Team

Do you suffer from problems with your jaw or have pain when you chew or yawn?

Do you hear a clicking or popping sound when you open or close your mouth?

Do you grind or clench your teeth?

People generally do not understand what TMJ, Temporo Mandibular Joint Dysfunction, is about other than they have pain or poor jaw movement. The cause of TMJ may be difficult to determine. TMJ is comprised of 2 components: Temporo Mandibular Dysfunction (TMD) and Myofascial Pain (MFP).

The concept of TMJ should be understood because the two different components of TMJ must be treated differently.

TMD, Temporo Mandibular Dysfunction, occurs when the jaw joint  (left, right or both) is not functioning well.   The second component, MFP, Myofascial Pain,  exists when the muscles of the jaw are painful or not functioning correctly.

                      TMJ =  TMD  +  MFP

The two components may exist together or exist separately.

It is important to understand how the jaw functions normally to conceptualize how to treat Temporo Mandibular Dysfunction.                    

In a healthy TMJ the lower jaw (mandibular) moves within the bone of the head (temporal bone) to open and close.  The muscles of the jaw provide the force for the mandible to move within the temporal bone.

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Tags: neck pain, pain, holistic dentistry, TMJ, jaw pain