TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain typically shows up as jaw pain when chewing. It can also entail popping or clicking of the jaw with mouth movement.  Many TMJ suffers also grind their teeth at night.

Two issues typically need to be addressed when treating TMJ pain. The primary issue is the alignment of the jaw as it connects with the two joints to the skull. Any misalignment in those delicate joints can result in pain or popping symptoms.

Here’s an easy test to do it home: look in the mirror with your mouth closed and bare your teeth so you can see the top and lower teeth. Slowly open your mouth and look for any deviation to the side as the jaw moves downward. A healthy joint with no fixations will move straight downward. If there are fixations on one side or the other then the lower jaw will pivot to the side that is not moving properly. Sometimes it will even pivot to one side then the other as the joint opens.

By gently releasing the fixations, years of pain coming from the poor movement can be relieved. Usually as the joint motion normalizes, the muscles surrounding the joint will relax. Sometimes some additional work is needed to gently massage the muscles so that they too can relax and function normally.

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