TMJ Disfunction and Massage

by Mallery Gulbraa, R.M.T.


TMJ disfunction is a common disorder of the temporomandibular joints, muscle

s of mastication, and other associated structures.  Massage and acupuncture can be very effective ways of helping you cope and deal with TMJ Disfunction.     

Do you have TMJ Disfunction? 

Pain is the most common TMJ symptom. The pain is often described as a transient, dull ache in the jaw joint and nearby areas, including the ear area. Instead of pain, some sufferers only have problems in the use of their jaws.  

Additional symptoms of TMJ can include:

· Inability to open the mouth comfortably  

· Clicking, popping or grating sounds in the jaw joint 
· Locking of the jaw when attempting to open the mouth 
· Headaches 
· A bite that feels uncomfortable or “off” 
· Neck, shoulder and back pain 
· Swelling on the side of the face 
· Tinnitus or ear pain

· Dizziness


What causes TMJ Disfunction? A number of things may cause TMJ Disorder, including local injury, dental work/oral surgery, whiplash, arthritis, bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching), and structural issues that relate to inherited physical features of the TMJ.  TMJ may be related to, and/or causes of, other symptoms such as reoccurring sinus or ear infections, tinnitus, headaches, and neck/shoulder tension and stress.



Ever had your pterygoid muscle massaged? How massage can help:
In massage, the muscles associated with the joint can be relaxed therapeutically by accessing them both from the outside and the inside aspects of the mouth.  The firmness of pressure and techniques we use is dependent on your particular situation.  We wear gloves to reach the pterygoid muscles at the back of your mouth from the inside, which can be somewhat uncomfortable in the moment, but cause a huge release of tension on the TMJ, and subsequent decrease of TMJ Disfunction symptoms.   


Your homework.  When you get a massage that includes a TMJ focus, I teach you many things can do at home, including developing self awareness of clenching, self massage, stretching, and seeing your dentist to determine if you could benefit from obtaining and wearing a special mouth guard at night.

If you or anyone in your family suffers from TMJ Disfunction, and would like to try massage or acupuncture to get some relief or to promote healing, try a special TMJ Disfunction massage.