TMJ Disorders

 

The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is a complex joint in both structure and biomechanics. This joint is made up of the temporal bone and the mandibular condyle, which is cushioned by a small cartilaginous disc. It is unique in structure and relies heavily on ligamentous stability and motor control to ensure the jaw can open and close smoothly, as well as perform functions such as talking and eating. During opening the TMJ will initially hinge, which is usually not an issue, followed by forwards translation of the condyle which is where things get a little more complicated.

Common symptoms associated with jaw dysfunction:

  • Jaw pain or tenderness

  • Difficulty chewing

  • Reduced/painful opening

  • Headache

  • Ear pain/tinnitus

  • Clicking or locking of the jaw

  • Facial pain

  • Dizziness

 

James Cumming

 

In Brisbane, working at The Headache, Neck and Jaw Clinic, James found a passion for treating complex cervicogenic, migraine and temporomandibular joint cases. During this time James completed Levels 1 and 2 in the Watson Headache® Approach which has provided invaluable insight into the role of cervical afferents in headache and migraine complaints. After working under highly experienced practitioners in a niche area of physiotherapy, James returns to our clinic with a skillset unique to Western Australia.

Read more →

 

Measurements & indicators

Physical examination includes assessment of the following:

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  • Jaw opening and lateral range

  • Tongue/jaw motor control in isolation

  • Quality and directionality during opening and closing

  • Resting jaw posture

  • Cervical spine posture

  • TMJ ligament assessment

  • Muscle palpation

  • Strength assessment

  • Hyoid position and surrounding musculature

 

What to expect

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There are many causes of jaw pain or dysfunction which requires a thorough examination of both the neck and jaw to better understand what is going on. We can get problems with the jaw when the joint becomes stiff, the disc gets stuck forwards and blocks the normal translation of the condyle, or conversely when there is too much movement, and we lose the ability to control what the jaw is doing. Jaw pain can occur spontaneously from trauma or sudden locking of the jaw, or worsen very gradually over time

Initial consultations require 60-minutes to assess and diagnose the issue and accurately. Once determined that care might be appropriate and safe, ongoing appointments of 30-minutes will be required to track and treat symptoms or to refer on as indicated.

 

Treatment modalities

Treatment of the jaw looks to correct relevant abnormalities using manual therapy. A targeted home exercise programme is often prescribed to help sustain improvements and address motor control and strength issues. In cases where the disc is displaced, we may look to relocate the cartiliginous disc or refer on to a prosthodontist or maxillofacial surgeon as indicated.Treatment modalities include:

  • Soft tissue release

  • Joint mobilisation

  • Strength and motor control retraining

  • Dry Needling

Consultation fees

Book an appointment by calling our clinic and we will arrange a suitable time for your consultation. Online bookings are also available on our website or on Healthengine.

Our consultation fees vary depending upon the nature of your visit, the time required and the chiropractor seen. 

INITIAL CONSULTATION for comprehensive clinical evaluation

  • Allow 50 to 70 minutes

  • Consultation fee | $120 


STANDARD TREATMENT VISIT for treatment applied for a known condition

  • Allow 30 to 40 minutes

  • Consultation fee | $90 

GP and Dentist
Priority referral form

Please use the Priority Referral Form below and we will contact your patient directly and liaise with you regarding their management. For urgent appointments, call the clinic at 08 9221 8458

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