Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain

Temporomandibular joint pain or TMJ is a common inflammation that happens in the jaw joint which results from patients that tend to clench their jaw or grind their teeth or have an asymmetrical bite.
It can commonly present as ear pain since the back of the jaw joint is close to the front of the ear canal and the pain can sometimes be felt in the ear though it comes from the jaw.
Management for patients with TMJ starts with conservative things such as warm compresses to the joint, anti-inflammatories if the patient can take them, massage or even physical therapy for their TMJ.
If it’s not improved with these conservative treatments, then seeing a dentist can be helpful, they can do an x-ray to look at the jaw joints and they can also make a bite guard wear at night to help improve symptoms.

Temporomandibular joint

The first thing you should be doing is getting any kind of ear problems ruled out. And this means going to an ear, nose, and throat specialist that has an audiologist so they can rule out any kind of ear-related issue. Once that’s ruled out, then you can focus primarily on the TMJ, which is the likely cause if it’s not being caused by the ear. And this would include going to a massage therapist and doing the self-massage technique. If that’s not helping after a month or two, then you should be going in to see your dentist see if it’s an actual dental issue that’s causing the problem.


The syndrome is the temporomandibular joint which is just the joint of your jaw and is often called TMJ. this syndrome is people that have pain in their jaw. may be difficulty chewing like really chewy bread or steak or exclude of that nature maybe they get a lot of cooking or popping on and oftentimes by the time we see patients they’ve tried everything. they tried the splints, they’ve tried the night guards, they’ve tried dental work, pain meds, cortisone shots even and nothing seems to have worked long term and so in many of those cases by the time you know Aleutians get to us and they’ve failed everything else we do an evaluation and we have a high success rate using Prolotherapy to treat TMJ disorder. which is where we do the injection in the ligaments and capsule of the TMJ joint to stimulate the body to repair itself and strengthen those ligaments kind of rebuild this joint as a whole for stability and strength in other cases. I’m a little bit more complex people have chronic Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues that you know aren’t getting better again with any of these therapies we also have to evaluate the neck and the shoulder because it might surprise you but a lot of people with chronic temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain do have an underlying neck issue or in rare cases that have a shoulder issue that’s putting tension on their joint and so you can do all the therapies in the world to the TMJ but until you need so it’s going on in their neck or the shoulder you know it’s not going to get better. sure so it’s based on the fusions history and physical exam we suspect that there could be a neck component.

Often we’ll order what’s called a digital motion x-ray or a DM X. The DX gives us an actual picture of what happens to your vertebrae when you do that. our vertebrae shifting out of place are they moving too far forward or backward and then also what’s happening to your job when you are your is your jaw shifting to one side or the other when you open and close your mouth the additional motion.

What is Causing Your Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Ear Pain? Diagnose and Treatment

Temporomandibular joint TMJ pain 4

How Do You Know If That Pain You're Having is Coming from Your Ear or Your Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)?

We’re gonna discuss the potential causes of that pain and what you can do about it. We cover a bunch of hearing-related information to help make you a better-informed consumer.
One thing people would often come in with would be jaw pain or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction. And massage therapy is an effective method of treatment for TMJ dysfunction. But, one thing we noticed a lot was people would come in for this jaw pain, and it ended up not being jaw pain at all. And so we would end up referring them to an ear, nose, and throat specialist to identify if it’s an ear problem or a jaw problem.
Obviously the ear and the tempura mandibular joint are closely located, so it’s really hard to identify which one is causing the pain.
Problems with any one of them can refer pain to the other area, so identifying this pain can be very difficult.
Often if this is a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issue, it’s likely caused by the masseter muscle being too tight on the particular side that you’re having the pain on. And this masseter muscle can become tight for a variety of different reasons.
Maybe you’re clenching your jaw, maybe you’re chewing on gum on that side exclusively. Or maybe you have a dental misalignment problem. And in some cases, it can even be arthritis, which can accentuate the problems as well.
Often if this is a TMJ issue, it’s likely caused by the masseter muscle being too tight on the particular side that you’re having the pain on. And this masseter muscle can become tight for a variety of different reasons.
Maybe you’re clenching your jaw, maybe you’re chewing on gum on that side exclusively. Or maybe you have a dental misalignment problem. And in some cases, it can even be arthritis, which can accentuate the problems as well.
If this pain is coming from the ear, it can be a little bit more serious.
Things like impacted ear wax, or negative middle ear pressure from an ear infection, or swimmer’s ear. Which is also known as otitis externa. But even more seriously, you could have a cholesteatoma, which is the growth of epithelial cells in your ear canal or your middle ear space that can wreak havoc on your ear. And all of these situations can cause pain that you might associate with jaw pain.
If the cause of this pain is your ear, it can lead to issues like tinnitus, which is that ringing and buzzing sound that you might hear. And the stress associated with either the TMJ pain or the ear pain can make tinnitus worse. Or make you perceive it worse than it is. And so until you get the problem corrected, it’s likely that this tinnitus issue, if you’re having it, will be perceived as more severe.

How Do You Identify This Pain is Caused by Your Ear or Your TMJ?

The first step that you should be taking is going in to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist otherwise known as an otorhinolaryngologist.
Together with an audiologist, they can test your hearing and use observation to identify if it’s an ear problem or not. If it is an ear problem, they’ll be able to start on the treatment, the appropriate treatment sooner. In some of the more serious cases, like if it’s cholesteatoma, that cholesteatoma surgery can be scheduled sooner rather than later.
Now if ear-related issues are ruled out, that’s really good news. That means it’s likely TMJ dysfunction. The majority of causes of TMJ dysfunction is an imbalance in the masseter muscles with one being too tight, and the other side is a little too loose. We’re gonna give you a simple technique that you can use to help relieve some of that jaw pain.
If you end up going to a massage therapist and you’re doing self-massage, and you’re not seeing any improvement after a month or two, then it’s probably time to go see your dentist and see if there’s some kind of dental issue there. And to see if there needs to be some kind of realignment done with that.

TMJ Exercise | Mouth Resistance

Relieve TMJ pain with mouth resistance exercises place your thumb under your chin while opening your mouth, apply pressure to your chin with your thumb. Hold for 3-5 seconds before closing your mouth. Do the reverse by squeezing your chin between your fingers to resist the mouth closing. What you’ll do is you’ll take your thumbs, push in on your masseter muscles, and push them down. What this does is it stretches out both sides and aligns it a little bit better. If the side that you’re having the pain on has a knot in there or you feel like it’s excessively tight, you can actually take and do what’s called cross fibre friction and go back and forth sideways on the muscle, and then when you’re done doing that, you’re gonna wanna push in and stretch it down again.
Temporomandibular joint

You always wanna make sure that you’re keeping both of those muscles the same length. And so you do wanna treat both sides, not just the side that you’re having pain on. Another thing that you can do is push in on that masseter muscle while you’re clenching your jaw.
That helps loosen the muscle up and then again, when you’re done doing that, you wanna let your jaw go relaxed and stretch those muscles down on both sides. Self-massage is great, but often going to a licensed massage therapist is even better.
They have more techniques that they can use, and they can do it much better likely than you can yourself.

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