The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is one of my most favourite areas of the body to treat. It truly puts a sparkle in my eye.
Why? Because my own jaw was dislocated during a dental surgery when I was a teenager, and during a technique class in second year uni, my jaw felt so amazing, it was like I had a new one. Since then, I’ve had the immense pleasure of helping hundreds of people with their jaw and seeing the tremendous results. It is a complex joint, and I’d say it is the most used joint in the body. We use it to eat, talk, smile, laugh, cry, frown, pout, kiss, and perform nearly all facial expressions.
I thought it easiest to explain jaw treatments by telling you about a patient of mine who I saw recently. She is an office worker in her early 30’s who for a few days had been experiencing dizziness on and off. In osteopathy consultations, we get into a lot of detail, so in her case, I found out that she had a dental procedure done about 15 years ago that misaligned her jaw, and her bite was now crooked. After the treatment, her bite was 90% more even, and she experienced immense relief, even though she wasn’t aware that she had discomfort in her jaw (and her dizziness was gone).
This is a pattern I see time and again, which is the reason I love treating jaws. Most patients walk out feeling like they have an amazing new jaw. The patient I explained above has been raving about her jaw since. She has been seeing me for the last 10 years on and off for different concerns, and keeps saying that she can’t believe she didn’t even realise she had jaw issues.
Unfortunately, the jaw is one of those areas that most people hold a lot of tension and don’t realise. When we are angry or stressed, we tend to clench. You might even clench or grind your teeth at night, which is extremely common. This can lead to long term jaw and dental problems, so best to nip it in the bud.
If you want your jaw to feel amazing, put a sparkle in our eyes and book in with either Debbie or Camille. Book an appointment here.
Signs that you may have jaw issues that you didn’t know about:
- Clicking or clunking of the jaw
- Uneven bite
- Unable to fully open your mouth
- Teeth being ground down
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Ringing in the ears
- Changes in hearing
- Past dental surgery or major dental procedure
- Jaw pain (you might wake up in the morning with a tired or achy jaw, or have more constant pain)
HOT TIPS to prevent clenching at night:
- Concentrate on relaxing your jaw throughout the day. Think about your often and make an effort to relax it as much as possible. Before you go to sleep, lie in bed and try to fall asleep with a relaxed jaw.
- Do meditation before sleep. If stress is the cause of your clenching or grinding (90% of the time, it is), then even just 10 minutes of meditation can help relieve the stress so you can have a clench free night.
- Massage the muscles around your jaw yourself for several minutes each day after dinner. A good chance for your jaw to have some well deserved R & R after being so busy all day.