The temporomandibular joint of your jaw is much more than a simple hinge - it has a sliding ball and socket and cartilage disc in 3 dimensions. There are multiple ligaments and muscles making it all move. Additionally we all experience varying levels of mental stresses that often result in overuse or incorrect use of jaw muscles. A history of soft tissue injuries due to sports or accidents can cause complications. TMJ issues can lead to headaches, difficulty eating, and really affect your quality of life.
Generally treatment for TMJ Disfunction and Pain is about management and accessing multiple disciplines. A structural jaw click or pop can be your 'normal', and only requires observation. Rarely the actual joint itself needs surgical care, more often it is the muscles causing pain. All joint issues - clicks, pops, pain - can often be improved with physiotherapy and splint therapy (night guard). The important part is to find what works for you. Dr Roche will assess your TMJ concerns and help to point you in the right direction with referrals as needed - the specialist, the physiotherapist, a sleep study, a splint, or Botox, or all of the above.
Additionally, a critical element is Myofunctional Therapy...
Myofunctional Therapy with Leanna Enstrom, COM
Oral myofunctional therapy is the customized targeted treatment and prevention of jaw pain, clicking, snoring, orthodontic relapse, etc.
While physio is helping treat and prevent pain in the larger head, neck, and jaw muscles, myofunctional therapy is looking at tongue and lip strength, function, and posture.
Yes, there is a correct way to swallow and posture your tongue and jaws. If you have been doing it wrong your whole life, often a small muscle is forced to compensate for the incorrect function of a larger muscle resulting in pain and disfunction. Myofunctional therapy has been proven to improve snoring and improve the CPAP experience. A tongue tie can have full body postural effects.
Assessment and therapy with Leanna Enstrom and Jaw Gym can be booked through us at Guardian Dental.