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TMJ Can Go Away

Article by Kim Pelletier, PT,CST – Holistic Physical Therapist

Temporomandibular joint pain is the result of compromised movement of the jaw joint and surrounding muscles.  This condition can be extremely debilitating and lead to pain when eating, talking, and even at rest.  I have seen a tremendous number of clients who have suffered from this condition for years and have had mouth guards, botox shots, medications, tooth adjustments, braces and a multitude of other treatments but still have jaw pain.

I have found cranial sacral treatment, in combination with joint mobilization and fascial release, to be one of the most effective treatments for this condition.  Many factors can play into the reasons for having TMJ inclusive of old head injuries and concussions(even from childhood) wearing braces, neck injuries, stress, extensive dental trauma as well as other less common factors.  It is necessary to do a whole body evaluation in order to determine why the jaw joint is not moving appropriately causing pain and disability.


Cranial sacral treatment is gentle and may include doing work inside the mouth to release some of the structures which are causing the tension.  The hard palate (where you upper teeth are implanted) can often be the culprit having been pushed back into the other bones during wearing braces or trauma.  Gently distracting of the hard palate can make all the difference in the world in how the jaw articulates with the skull. Facial trauma may also be the cause of the hard palate needing mobilization.  Often this can  help with longstanding sinus problems.

Another big contributing factor to TMJ can be stress.  I so remember getting angry and clenching my jaw rather than say what I want to say.  Jaw clenching can be unconscious.  Becoming aware of patterns of clenching can help in resolving the problem, YOUR TEETH SHOULD NEVER TOUCH UNLESS YOU ARE CHEWING.   Check your self out to see how often you may be jaw clenching.  Stress also activates the cranial nerves in particular the trigeminal nerve which activate the muscles involved with your jaw.  Cranial sacral treatment decreases the stress in the nervous system allowing for the relaxation of these muscles.

There is no need to suffer with jaw pain and if you think you have exhausted all your options and you are still in pain you should definitely be evaluated by a cranial sacral therapist.  The work is amazing and can alleviate all the treatments, angst and pain associated with a TMJ diagnosis.

Contact: Kim 860.208.1535
Email: Healpt@yahoo.com