April is Oral Health Month and an important part of this celebration is National Dental Hygienists Week™, celebrated annually in the second week of April. Good oral health is critical to overall health.
TMJ dysfunction is a disorder of the muscles of mastication (chewing and speech), the temporomandibular joints and associated structures. It can manifest as head, jaw and/or ear pain and is associated with:
- popping and / or clicking in the jaw,
- range of motion changes in the jaw (limitations and/or deviations when opening and closing), and
- lock jaw.
Potential causes of the dysfunction are:
- muscle imbalances in the jaw,
- muscle overuse (chewing gum, chewing on one side, prolonged yawning, pipe /cigar smoking, or an activity / occupation requiring a mouthpiece or mouthguard etc),
- malocclusion (loss of a tooth or molar, disturbing the mouth’s balance),
- bone alignment and postural dysfunctions (scoliosis, head forward postures – think desk jobs, leg length discrepancies etc),
- increased stress (clenching jaw, grinding teeth),
- direct physical trauma,
- sinus blockage or infections, and
- joint pathologies (hypermobility, osteoarthritis etc)
Contact your friendly neighbourhood massage therapist if you experience any of these symptoms. Or call the clinic to book an appointment at 830.6600