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Our mission is to provide excellence in physiotherapy in a caring and friendly environment. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that allows you to open and close your mouth. Strong muscles and ligaments around the jaw work together to both stabilise and move the jaw. When the jaw opens the disc slides forward to help the jaw open smoothly, in the correct alignment, without dislocating. Making an accurate diagnosis of your TMD condition is essential so an effective treatment regime can be implemented for your particular symptoms. With physiotherapy most people will see a significant improvement in their symptoms within 3 to 6 weeks. If you grind or clench your teeth or if you have malocclusion problems then your dentist may need to make you a night splint (occlusal splint). If you have other dental problems, such as cavities, that are causing pain, you may be chewing on the other side only. When your pain is severe, avoid eating food that requires heavy chewing such as steak, nuts and crunchy apples.
It is important to try to identify your stresses so you can plan to reduce or eliminate them. At Sutherland Shire Physiotherapy Centre we have expertise and many years experience in the treatment of jaw problems, headache, postural problems and conditions of the neck, back and upper limb.
Please note that the above information is of a general nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. Simons, first author of Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual by Simons, Travell & Simons, 1999 second edition of Vol. The condition is sometimes known as TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder) or TMJ Disorder (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder).
If you put your fingers just in front of your ears and open and close your mouth you will feel the TMJ moving.
Our treatment is successful in managing most cases of TMD even when the symptoms are long standing and severe.

The splint will hold your jaw joint slightly apart while you sleep even if you are clenching, preventing compression of your jaw joint. Having your jaw and tongue in the correct position will improve your neck posture and make breathing, swallowing and relaxing easier. If you always breathe through your mouth or you have a blocked nose, you may find nose breathing quite challenging to begin with, but practice regularly and it will start to feel more normal. Controlling sleep apnoea will improve your general health and reduce your head a neck pain significantly. If you are waking in the morning with more pain than you had going to bed then chances are your pillow is causing you problems. Heather and Gillian have both undertaken further training and education in the assessment and treatment of TMJ and related neck conditions. You should always seek the advice of your qualified health practitioner to attain a proper diagnosis before starting any treatment regime. A direct anatomical study of the morphology and functionality of disco-malleolar and anterior malleolar ligaments. The petrotympanic fissure: a link connecting the tympanic cavity and the temporomandibular joint. The discomallear ligament and the anterior ligament of malleus: an anatomic study in human adults and fetuses.
Discomalleolar and anterior malleolar ligaments: possible causes of middle ear damage during temporomandibular joint surgery. Course Notes, Craniomandibular Disorders for Physiotherapists, Uni of Qld, Sept, 2009. Difficulties with the Differential Diagnosis of Cervicogenic and Temporomandibular Headache, MPA In Touch, Issue 2, 2008. The TMJ is a very mobile joint that can move forwards, backwards, side to side, up and down. There is also a long fibrous disc running through the joint that helps to align and stabilise the joint. An Xray, CT or MRI Scan can also be helpful if there are signs of wear and tear or damage within your joint.

Treatment will be specific to your symptoms and may include techniques to relieve pain, swelling and muscle spasm and restore jaw movement and alignment. This helps your jaw muscles to relax and reduces the swelling and inflammation in your joint. Avoid big burgers and sandwiches that make you open your jaw too wide and avoid chewing gum and hard lollies.
The tip of your tongue should sit on the little ridge just behind your top teeth, not against your teeth, and then the rest of your tongue should flatten out across the roof of your mouth. Sometimes you will find yourself in a situation that is not able to be changed, however, you can change how you respond to these situations. These symptoms can range from mild discomfort to severe pain with jaw restriction and locking.
It is also important to treat any associated neck pain and headaches and to improve neck posture. If your pain is severe or you have jaw movement limitation you may need a course of physiotherapy first, so that you can hold your jaw open for your dentist to treat your dental problems. Pain may be felt in the jaw joint, jaw bone, teeth, jaw muscles, temple region, ears and neck. Your tongue should create a small amount of suction which will help to keep you in the correct position. As the neck goes forward the jaw muscles drag the jaw backwards, causing strain to the jaw joint and eventually pain, swelling and irritation.
TMD can have a devastating effect on your life, interfering with eating, laughing, yawning and even talking.

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