The letters TMJ are the abbreviation of Tempro-Mandibular Joint, which is the joint between your jaw and your skull. Do you grind your teeth; do you have a clicking jaw; do you have recurrent jaw pain, earache or headaches. If so you could be suffering from a TMJ problem.


The jaw is a hinge joint connecting the mandible (lower teeth) to the skull and is surrounded muscles. Movement at this joint allows you to open and close your mouth, chew, yawn, speak and swallow.  This joint is one of the most frequently used joints in the body.

Within the jaw joint there is an articular disc which can become irritated or misplaced and can cause TMJ dysfunction.

What are the symptoms?

TMJ dysfunction can cause:

  • Limited range of movement within the joint
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Facial pain
  • Ear pain
  • Dizziness
  • Tinnitus
  • Clicking in the joint
  • Pain in the joint
  • Muscle tightness around the jaw and neck

The diagnosis can be difficult because many other conditions can cause such a variety of symptoms.

Commonly TMJ dysfunction is associated with clicking, grinding or crunching when you open or close your mouth. The articular disc sits so that the condyle, the head of the mandible can slide smoothly up and down. The click you hear occurs when the condyle is not in the proper position and passes over the ridge of the disc.  

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Grinding your teeth, improper dental wear, inappropriate dental interventions, misaligned teeth, missing teeth, car accidents, trauma, facial surgery and stress can all lead to the development of TMJ problems.

Chiropractors specialise in all the joints of the body including the TMJ. Often the skills of both a dentist and chiropractor are required to stabilise TMJ conditions. If you think you may be suffering from a TMJ dysfunction contact us now.

  1. 2003. Chiropractic Treatment of Temporomandibular Disorders Using the Activator Adjusting Instrument: A Prospective Case Series. Journal Manipulative Physiological Therepies Sept 26 (7): 421-425.
  2. 1997. Temporomandibular Dysfunction: Chiropractic Rehabilitation. Journal Bodywork and Movement Therapies Jul 1 (4): 208-213.
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