What causes TMJ Dysfunction?

The pain and tenderness of TMJ dysfunction can be caused by the disc in the joint moving out of place and causing pressure on sensitive structures around the joint.

Other causes of TMJ Dysfunction include:

  • Clenching or grinding of the teeth, both during the day and while sleeping at night
  • Poor posture, leading to strains or overuse of muscles in the face and neck
  • Inability to relax
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of restful sleep
  • Arthritis
  • Fractures
  • Alignment or structural problems present since birth
  • Injuries to the face, head or neck, such as concussions, facial blows, or motor vehicle accidents

Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction

The pain of TMJ dysfunction can be sharp, searing and catching, or dull and constant. It can be extremely debilitating

Other symptoms include:

  • Ear pain, or fullness of the ears
  • Facial pain
  • Sore, tight, tender jaw muscles
  • Temple, cheek, tooth or jaw pain while swallowing, yawning, talking or chewing
  • Jaw popping, clicking or locking upon opening or closing, or while chewing
  • Reduced ability to fully open or close the mouth
  • Frequent headaches or neck aches
  • Muscle pain and spasms in the face, head and neck
  • Ringing in the ears

Physiotherapy and TMJ Treatment

Are there treatment options?

Fortunately, a trained Physiotherapist can help by teaching you relaxation, stretching and strengthening exercises for the face, head and neck muscles. These exercises can also help to augment the effect of the appliance or mouth guard your dentist may have already provided to you.

Your program may include one or more of the following:

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises of the jaw, head and neck
  • Postural correction, relaxation and breathing exercises
  • Manual stretches and mobilizations of the jaw and neck joints
  • Ultrasound and electrical stimulation to improve healing

What can you expect?

At Kanata Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Clinic, you will work directly with a certified Physiotherapist, trained through post graduate course work, in the assessment and treatment of TMJ dysfunctions.

Your Physiotherapist will assess:

  • Your unique jaw and neck movement disorder or alignment issues
  • Muscle imbalances and tightness
  • Any joint related problems

Here at Physio in the Valley we also have physiotherapists who specialize in TMJ dysfunction but also work with cranial osteopathy therapies which can further improve your face and jaw alignment and help with pain.

Call us today and ask for Paul Saal, BSC.PT for your assessment of TMJ dysfunction. 613-635-4777


We are currently open and following strict Covid protocols. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms please call and reschedule your appointment: new or worsening cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, temperature equal to or over 38°C, feeling feverish, chills, fatigue or weakness, muscle or body aches, new loss of smell or taste, headache, gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting) or feeling very unwell.