Treating TMJ Hypermobility
If you suffer with painful, noisy jaw joints which refer symptoms into your face, ears, or head, you’ve come to the right page! Below you will discover a downloadable four page home exercise program for the most notorious of TemporoMandibular (jaw joint) Disorders: TMD hypermobility.
The normal range of jaw opening is between 40 and 50 mm. The initial 25 mm of opening is primarily achieved by rotation which occurs in the bottom half of the joints between the mandibular condyle of the jaw bone and the underneath surface of the disk. The remaining 15 to 25 mm is gained primarily through the forward gliding (anterior translation) motion that occurs between the upper surface of the disk and the temporal bone of the skull.
Believed to be the most common mechanical disorder of the TMJ, hypermobility is characterized by early and/or excessive forward gliding of one or both TMJs. This excessive forward gliding results in laxity of the surrounding capsule and ligaments. The over-stretching of these structures allows for disk displacement/derangement to occur in one or both jaw joints. Ultimately, pain, functional loss, and possibly arthritic changes set in.
Patients who suffer with TMJ hypermobility will present in the clinic with the following signs and symptoms:
- Clicking, popping, or cracking when opening or closing the mouth.
- Pain in one or both TMJs and the surrounding chewing muscles.
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitis) or the sensation that the ears are “clogged.”
- Sideways movement of the jaw during opening and/or closing of the mouth.
- Jaw getting stuck open or closed (open or closed locking).