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Understanding Jaw Dysfunctions: Diagnosis and Pain Relief Strategies

Updated: Feb 6


Are you getting Jaw popping, jaw locking, jAw pain, Headaches, or are hearing Ringing in your ears? These all could be stemming from an underlying jaw dysfunction

TMJ Jaw pain

There can be many different reasons for having pain or other symptoms from your jaw. Figuring out the correct diagnosis is pertinent to taking the correct course of action with your treatments. Some of common diagnoses for jaw dysfunction are as follows: Anterior Disc Displacement with reduction, Anterior Disc Displacement without reduction, Posterior Disc Displacement, Jaw instability/subluxation, Retrodisciitis, Capsulitis, Muscle Strain, Post Surgical Pain, Traumatic Joint Effusion. To simplify things for you to try to correct your jaw pain yourself, we will combine them in to two groups and select a treatment plan based on these groups. If your main symptom is ringing in ears you will need a more advanced evaluation and plan that you can find in the services tab.


Group 1 The Hypomobile Jaw

Usually this group tends to have a longer treatment course depending on how long the jaw has been tight. Diagnoses in this group: Anterior Disc Displacement without Reduction, Posterior Disc Displacement, Capsulitis, Muscle Strain, Traumatic Joint Effusion, Post Surgical Pain. I would say in my experience the most common diagnosis I see being anterior disc displacement without reduction(ADDWOR). A patient would have had symptoms for a longer period of time, usually starting with popping and then progressed to limitation and no popping in the Jaw. It is usually more involved then the other diagnoses in this group and treatment is similar between them all, except ADDWOR needs an additional treatment that is the same anterior disc displacement with reduction which we will talk about later.


Treatment


Massage of Muscles of Mastication


Perform Light to Medium Pressure Circles in these Areas


Masseter Muscle
Masseter Muscle


Temporalis Muscle
Temporalis Muscle


Lateral Pterygoid Muscle
Lateral Pterygoid Muscle

This last one is tricky. You will have to insert your index finger straight behind where your wisdom tooth would be and hold light to medium pressure on that area that will usually be a little sore.



Joint Distraction


Here's a good link to follow for this treatment





Muscle Energy Technique



Muscle Energy Opening
Muscle Energy Opening

Open jaw as wide as you can, bite down on to your fingers submaximally for 5 sec, apply same amount of force with your fingers so your jaw doesn't close at all. relax bite for 2 seconds then open jaw wider. Repeat this sequence 3-5 times.





Group 2 Hypermobile Group

Usually this group tends to respond faster than group 1. Diagnoses in this group are instability/subluxation, anterior disc displacement with reduction, trauma, and muscle strain. Jaw dysfunctions could also be associated with underlying hypermobilty syndromes such as EDS and Downs syndrome.


Treatment


Massage of Muscles of Mastication

Click HERE


Joint Distraction

Click HERE


Strengthening

Buy Temporomandibular Tubing for strengthening HERE

Click HERE for Strengthening Progression


Jaw Disc Reduction Strategies

Click HERE

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