TMJ dysfunction: A common cause of jaw pain

Treating TMJ Pain

Whoever first said smiling can’t hurt you should’ve done a little bit of research first. Of course, we’re not suggesting that smiling is bad, but smiling can hurt you if you have pain in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

The TMJ is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull and is largely responsible for opening and closing your mouth. It’s possible for inflammation to affect the joint or for arthritis to diminish the cartilage. When either of these happens, you feel pain in your jaw, which makes it difficult to talk, chew or smile.

Symptoms of TMJ pain

It’s not entirely uncommon to experience some form of minor jaw pain every now and then from chewing or talking too much, but the pain associated with TMJ dysfunction is severe and tends to stick around for a while. 

Here are the symptoms you may notice if you have a TMJ disorder:

  • Pain in one or both sides of your jaw
  • Increased pain when chewing or talking
  • Pain radiates around your ear and/or your face
  • The jaw locks up or is difficult to open or close

This kind of pain may need professional attention for treatment. Contact your dentist or a physical therapist at Holland Physical Therapy if you notice any of these symptoms. 

How physical therapy can help reduce TMJ pain

Some treatments for TMJ pain may require the use of splints and medication, but many people with TMJ can benefit from physical therapy. The physical therapists at Holland Physical therapy will take the time to assess your pain and develop a personalized treatment for you if you have TMJ pain.

Many treatments for TMJ pain that we offer include:

  • Exercises and stretches
  • Ultrasound
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Massage

Contact Holland Physical Therapy for joint pain treatment

It’s important to seek treatment for your jaw pain before it gets worse. Left unattended, TMJ pain can grow more severe and lead to more serious conditions, such as permanent disability. Are you suffering from extreme and ongoing jaw pain? Please contact us today to talk to one of our team members about your treatment options.