TMJ Dysfunction

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is where the skull's temporal bone connects to the lower jaw. This joint opens and closes like a hinge and slides forward, backward, and side to side. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction occurs as a result of anatomic problems within the joint or tension in the muscles surrounding it.


Signs and symptoms of TMJ dysfunction include:

Pain in the jaw that accompanies movement, clenching, and pain waking in A.M.

Decreased range of motion in the jaw

Noise during jaw movement

Headache, neck and ear pain

SMART PT's approach to treating TMJ dysfunction may include:

Manual therapy to increase range of motion in the TMJ region, recapture the displaced TMJ disc, decrease muscle tightness, reduce stress to the jaw joints, and release musculoskeletal trigger points to restore pain-free mobility

Education about posture and movement to reduce inflammation within the joint, regain harmony in the jaw and muscles, improve function and range of motion, and stabilize the bite and TMJ in a physiologic position Self-management activities designed to help you maintain normal, pain-free mobility and function.

"Over the years I had the pleasure of working with Mr. McCullough ("Tim"). He was one of few physical therapist I encountered that had such an extensive knowledge of TMJ and craniofacial rehabilitation. He worked with my pre and post surgical TMJ and orthognathic surgery patients. He also assisted with non- surgical patients with chronic craniofacial and TMJ pain. My only regret is that Tim moved to NH. I highly recommend him."

Robert Emery DDS

Diplomate American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery