Do you experience headaches? Do you notice painful clicking or clunking in your jaw? Do you have a “lock jaw” or have difficulty opening your mouth?
The temporomandibular joint or TMJ is a fancy term for your jaw. About 1 in 10 people have some kind of dysfunction at the TMJ, including clicking, grinding, locking and/or pain. This may be caused by grinding of the teeth, clenching, trauma (i.e. vehicle collisions), or it might not have any clear reason at all. Certain habits like slouched postures or chewing gum can affect your bite and put muscles in a longer or shorter position.
Over time, our muscles adapt to that position and may contribute to issues at the jaw. It may also strain the soft tissues around the joint if we do that repetitively for a long time. We have also seen increased jaw pain since people are wearing masks all day long. Using the mouth to move a mask around our face all day does NOT help with jaw pain and discomfort! Be sure to ask your therapist how we can help you!