TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Massage is a massage that specifically focuses on the muscles of the jaw and neck.
You can highly benefit from a TMJ massage if you:
- Clench your teeth
- Grind your teeth
- Get headaches
- Have trouble opening your mouth
- Have been in a motor vehicle accident (recent or past)
- Have had a sport injury or whiplash (recent or past)
- If your jaw clicks or deviates
- After an extended dental procedure
- If you wear a mouthguard (i.e. hockey)
- If you use a mouthpiece (i.e. playing clarinet, scuba diving)
Treatment involves working both outside and directly inside the mouth to release tight muscles and joint compression, which will in turn decrease or eliminate pain and over time, improve the symmetry of the jaw. A thorough neck massage is also part of the treatment.
The jaw is unique in that it operates as two separate joints bound together by one bone- the mandible. If one side begins to move differently from the other (because of overworked muscles) the symmetry of the jaw will become compromised.
Inside each joint is a friction-reducing disc that maintains the appropriate amount of space in the joint. The disc moves forward and back in coordination with the opening and closing of the mouth. Joint compression and muscle tightening can eventually result in an abnormal forward disc position, which if left untreated, can leave the joint vulnerable to pain and arthritis.