Understanding the TMJ Imbalance
TMJ is a disorder of the temporomandibular joints. These joints connect your jaw to your skull, and are located on either side of your head, just below your ears. We describe it as an imbalance because the complicated temporomandibular joints depend on a number of systems to work together harmoniously: groups of muscles work to move your jaw up and down, side to side, backwards and forwards, and more. Ideally, these muscles should all be at rest when your jaw is in a relaxed natural position with your teeth almost or lightly touching all around. When these muscles work together, your jaw should move comfortably and smoothly on the TMJ joint, where a cushion of cartilage keeps your bones from grinding.
When a person has TMJ, though, it’s impossible for all the muscles to be at rest together. Instead, your muscles are always in tension, and may pull your teeth together in a grinding fashion, leading to worn teeth, chipped teeth, or broken teeth. You may experience jaw pain either in the joints or in the bone due to excessive pressure. Displacement of the cushioning disc, which may result from or cause muscle tension, may result in jaw popping or clicking.
TMJ treatment works by relaxing your muscles and moving your jaw into a position of maximum rest.