Jaw Pain

Jaw Pain (TMJ)

John Miller Physiotherapist

Article by John Miller

TMD Physio

Tailored Solutions for Jaw Pain

Jaw Pain and TMJ Disorders

Jaw pain, commonly associated with Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD), involves discomfort, clicking, and restricted movement of the jaw. These symptoms may arise from issues like bite asymmetries, sinus infections, dental complications, hypertonic jaw muscles, or directly from jaw joint disorders (TMJ dysfunction).

Regular triggers include traumatic injuries such as a broken jaw, stress, jaw clenchnign or teeth grinding, and poor habits like resting your head on your hand.

Identifying the Right TMJ Relief

When experiencing jaw pain, it’s vital to seek advice from the appropriate healthcare provider. Dentists might suggest bite plates to realign your closed jaw posture, while orthodontists focus on long-term teeth alignment using braces. Alternatively, dental prosthetists play a crucial role for those missing teeth, helping align the jaw through tailored dentures. In severe cases, an Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon may recommend surgery to improve jaw function or address acute trauma, but this is rare and in most cases, a final stage.

For immediate concerns of clicking or locking when your mouth is open, a TMJ physiotherapist is your go-to jaw pain practitioner due to their skillset in jaw movement and muscle function. In summary, most jaw pain sufferers seek their initial advice from their dentist, doctor or TMJ physiotherapist.

jaw pain assessment - tmj physiotherapist brisbane

Jaw Pain Assessment by a TMJ Physiotherapist

TMJ Physiotherapy: A Targeted Approach to Jaw Pain Relief

TMJ physiotherapy focuses specifically on treating jaw pain associated with Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD). This special form of therapy uses a combination of manual therapy techniques, exercises, muscle relaxation techniques, and practical advice tailored to each patient’s unique condition. Physiotherapists skilled in TMJ treatment work to alleviate jaw pain, improve TMJ mobility, and correct dysfunction through therapeutic interventions.

Additionally, TMJ physiotherapists often provide guidance on posture, stress management, and techniques to prevent jaw clenching, all of which are critical for long-term relief. For those suffering from persistent jaw discomfort or dysfunction, consulting a TMJ physiotherapist can lead to significant improvements in both jaw function and overall quality of life. This targeted approach ensures that patients receive the most effective treatments aimed at reducing symptoms and preventing future issues.


Jaw pain should not be ignored as it can lead to more significant health issues if untreated. Understanding the underlying cause and seeking the right professional help are critical steps towards recovery.

What to Do? Seeking Professional Advice

Consulting a dentist, doctor or a TMJ physiotherapist should be your first step for an in-depth assessment and personalised jaw assessment and treatment plan. Your TMJ physiotherapist, may provide jaw muscle massage, dry needling, specific corrective exercises, manual therapy, and guidance to alleviate your symptoms.

Jaw Pain FAQs

  1. Why does my jaw hurt on one side? – This could be due to uneven teeth alignment, muscle strain, or TMJ dysfunction on one side.
  2. When should I be concerned about jaw pain? – If the pain persists for more than a week, interferes with eating or speaking, or is accompanied by severe symptoms like swelling.
  3. How do you relieve jaw pain? – Applying ice packs, avoiding hard foods, and performing gentle jaw exercises can help. Consult a physiotherapist for tailored advice.
  4. Why did I suddenly get TMJ? – Sudden onset can result from stress, jaw injury, or abruptly starting to clench or grind your teeth.
  5. Does TMJ go away on its own? – Mild cases might improve with self-care, but persistent or severe TMJ requires professional treatment.
  6. What are the 4 stages of TMJ? – The stages range from mild discomfort, clicking, chronic pain and joint dysfunction that can result in jaw locking.
  7. Why does my jaw hurt near my ear? – The TMJ is located just in front of the ear, and issues with it can cause pain that feels like it’s coming from near your ear.
  8. How do you release TMJ tension? – Techniques include jaw relaxation exercises, stress reduction, and using heat packs. Ask your TMJ physiotherapist for advice.
  9. Why does my jaw hurt but I don’t have a toothache? – Jaw pain without a toothache can still stem from TMJ issues, arthritis, or muscle strain.
  10. Can jaw pain fix itself? – Some minor jaw pain can resolve with rest and self-care, but persistent pain needs medical or dental attention.
  11. How long does one-sided jaw pain last? – This varies but seek help if it lasts more than a few days without improvement.
  12. What happens if jaw pain is left untreated? – Ignoring jaw pain can lead to worsening symptoms, increased discomfort, and possibly chronic conditions such as TMJ arthritis.

Related Articles

  1. TMJ Physiotherapy Guide Learn how TMJ physiotherapy can help manage jaw pain through specialised techniques and exercises.
  2. What Causes TMJ? Explore the common triggers of Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction and how to prevent them.
  3. TMJ Headache Find out the symptoms associated with a TMJ Headache, plus treatment options.
  4. Jaw, Neck & Headache Conditions Understand how issues with the jaw can lead to neck pain and headaches.
  5. Tension Headache and TMJ: The Connection Read about how tension headaches can be linked to TMJ disorders and what treatments can help.
  6. Posture and TMJ: What’s the Link? See how poor posture can contribute to TMJ issues and learn corrective techniques.
  7. TMJ FAQs: Answers to Common Questions Gain insights into frequently asked questions about TMJ disorders and their implications.
  1. Ahmed N, Poate T, Nacher-Garcia C, et al. Temporomandibular joint multidisciplinary team clinic. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2014;52(9):827−30. doi: 10.1016/j.bjoms.2014.07.254. Search PubMed