TMJ (Jaw) Problems

Having fun that’s not hard to swallow.

TMJ (Jaw) Problems

Having fun that’s not hard to swallow.

WHAT DO TMJ PROBLEMS REFER TO?

The term “TMJ” itself, refers to problems related to the jaw. But, by actual definition, it really only means ‘temporomandibular joint”, which is where the temporal and mandibular (jaw) bones meet.  These joints, one on each side of the jaw, allows the mouth to open and close, as well as to talk and to chew. Problems here can range from actual joint alignment issues to headaches and facial pain.

TMJ dysfunction, or TMD is the technical term for pain and dysfunction of the muscles of mastication (chewing) and the temporomandibular joints.

WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?

  • Pain, popping and/or clicking, especially when chewing, talking and yawning
  • Headaches, especially in the temples
  • Facial pain/soreness on one or both sides of the jaw
  • Ear sensations, clogging, or earache
  • Tinnitus  
  • Difficulty chewing, yawning

HOW CAN I CAN MANAGE MY TMJ PROBLEMS?

  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and aspirin.  
  • Ice packs applied to the jaw joint
  • Gentle circular massage to the joint

HOW DOES IT DEVELOP?

  • Traumatic injury to the jaw, face, neck, or other parts of the body
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Tension in the muscles surrounding the joint Bruxism or grinding of the teeth
  • Stress to the region
  • Keeping the mouth open for an extended period of time.

WHAT IF I CANNOT MANAGE MY TMY PROBLEMS?

  • Possible progressive increase in pain, popping or clicking
  • Neck pain and headaches may develop or increase
  • Ear/hearing issues have been known to occur
  • Poor posture develops to accommodate the pain

HOW CAN BALTIMORE HOLISTIC PHYSICAL THERAPY HELP?

At Baltimore Holistic Physical Therapy your jaw movement will be thoroughly assessed. A full body evaluation will continue, including the neck, shoulder girdle and thoracic spine to determine if those structures are affecting your posture or causing your symptoms. Then, a comprehensive treatment program will be developed to help restore the proper pain free function of your jaw. A program of manual therapies, specific exercises and practical training in how to avoid future jaw problems is of utmost importance to your treatment. This program of care will aid in chewing, talking, laughing, yawning and help you reduce your headache and sleep more comfortably.

When coordination of care with a dentist is important, I will work with your dentist or recommend a dental specialist with expertise in TMJ issues to help manage your care.

Start your healing now and get back to a comfortable life.

What Our Patients Have To Say

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

A:  Firstly, I don’t believe in doing what didn’t work before. Many physical therapy practices approach a problem by going to the painful region. Oftentimes, this is a very temporary fix. By taking a holistic, hands-on approach, I understand that your pain may be coming from another part of the body, or even have multiple sources, including posture. By individualizing your treatment, I concentrate on healing and re-balancing the body, to manage your pain and lessen the chance of it returning. Then, I teach you how to manage your posture and movement.

A: Treatments for headaches or other pain from a recent problem will generally benefit from 2 treatment sessions for the first 2 weeks, then 1 session per week. Older conditions will benefit from 2 treatment sessions for the first week and then 1 session per week. Wellness sessions to rebalance and optimize the body for healthy aging range from a single session every month to once every six months and will be recommended on an individual basis.

A: An initial evaluation will take 1 hour. (Scar adhesion or sinus treatments only require 45 minutes.) Most follow-up treatments will be done in 30 minute sessions; multiple body areas may require 45 minutes

A: Any heavy exercise or recreational program should be done prior to the physical therapy or wellness session and then not for 24 hours after, in order for the body to adjust itself to the changes in muscle balance.

A: I will teach you techniques to perform on yourself if there is a flare-up and instruct you on proper body mechanics and ergonomics.

A: It is a facial aesthetics program of wrinkle reduction and facial rejuvenation using hands-on physical therapy and osteopathic techniques which may reduce the signs of aging in the face and neck. A FREE HEALTHY AGING CONSULTATION is available. See Refacée®

A: Although many patients have health insurance, Baltimore Holistic Physical Therapy does not participate with health insurances.

A: Appointments may be made in the following ways: Please call 410-665-3223 Email: Dr.Susan@baltimoreholisticpt.com