TMJ/TMD (Jaw Pain)TMJ – Temporo-Mandibular Joint/ TMD- Temporomandibular Dysfunction

Dr. Dunn and Dr. Kulm have been trained to treat Jaw pain/clicking properly. Various soft tissue techniques, muscle activation, and movement corrections effectively treat TMJ/TMD.

Some Things that can cause or aggravate Jaw pain

  • clenching throughout the day/night
  • improper mouth opening
  • poor posture, which puts the temporomandibular joint in a poor position biomechanically and can increase mechanical stress on the joint
  • excessive chewing and biting habits include chewing gum, chewing on pens, toothpicks, fingernails, etc.
  • High-stress levels play a huge part in our jaw pain and clenching patterns.
  • A poor immune system, whether due to stress, diet, environment, etc.
  • An upper chest dominant breathing pattern
  • Increased muscle spasms or pains in or around the neck
  • Headaches
  • Food allergies/sensitivites

Dr. Dunn and Dr. Kulm will analyze your jaw to determine which therapies will most benefit your individual condition. In most cases, the patient’s TMJ pain is due to the tension in the muscles around the joint and not actually a problem with the joint itself.  The doctor will perform a few orthopedic tests to determine if your pain is due to a problem in the joint itself or just due to the over-activity of the muscles around the joint.

In very tough cases, sometimes splint therapy may be necessary. If so, we can order splints for you at the office.  Most often, splint therapy is unnecessary, and correcting a few of the main aggravators and seeking treatment for the muscles around the jaw and neck can help relieve jaw pain.  Our TMJ/TMD patient treatment generally consists of 6-8 visits which individual case therapy may include

  • soft tissue work to the neck/jaw
  • muscle activation exercises for under-active muscle
  • postural training
  • correcting faulty mouth opening or protrusive habits
  • home techniques for muscle lengthening/relaxation of over-active muscles
  • joint mobilizations to the TMJ
  • acupuncture
  • awareness and correction of clenching
  • restoring proper breathing and stabilization patterns
  • chiropractic manipulation to the upper back and/or neck region.
  • Rehabilitative exercises