Mississauga Chiropractor Presents: TMJ Syndrome

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Here’s another Blog from a Mississauga Chiropractor…


TMJ Syndrome is defined as pain & tenderness due to a dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint or surrouding musculature.


It is divided into 3 subtypes (that often co-exist):

  • Myofascial pain dysfunction
  • Internal derangement
  • Degenerative joint disease



Gender: Females > Males (4:1)

Age: 20-40 years of age.


Potential Causes:

  • TMJ synovitis or disc derangement
  • Hyper/hypomobile TMJ
  • Bruxism (grinding teeth)
  • Muscle spasm in jaw muscles
  • Trauma (MVA), psychosocial stress
  • Poorly fitting dentures, dental conditions



  • Jaw or facial pain (80%)
  • Increased pain with mastication
  • Locking or catching with motion
    • Limited ROM, TMJ clicking, grinding & popping
    • Headache, earache (30%) & neck pain
    • Past head or facial trauma



  • Facial asymmetry, muscle hypertrophy
    • Misalignment of the jaw, abnormal dental wear, missing teeth
  • Tenderness to palpation (80%)
    • Pain over muscles of mastication (chewing muscles)
    • Myospasm in muscles of mastication & facial muscles
  • Clicking or popping of TMJ
  • Abnormal mandibular tracking (lateral deviation of mandible)



  • Soft tissue therapy and/or trigger point therapy (masseter, temporalis, pterygoids), massage & relaxation therapy
  • Hot packs will reduce pain & increase local blood flow; Cold packs if acute
  • TMJ & cervical spine adjustment/mobilizations
  • Friction massage
  • Soft diet to avoid chewing
  • Consider occlusion (dental) splint, night guards, bruxism (grinding) appliances & oral orthotics



  • Estimated 75% of patients will have symptoms resolve within three months with a comprehensive multidisciplinary treatment schedule (restoration or normal muscle function, stress reduction, proper jaw occlusion, pain control & behaviour modification)


Consider referral to dentist specializing in TMJ syndrome if:

  • Conservative treatment trial is proving ineffective
  • Acute TMJ locking or poor occlusion of upper & lower jaw occurs, or if abscess appears
  • For night guard or splints.


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