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  • Wow! Removing TMJ Pain



    This week I worked on a 17-year old girl having pain her left temporomandibular joint. She had braces removed about a year ago. Six months ago she began to have pain when yawning. She says she has to “loosen” her lower jaw before a yawn or the pain radiates up into her left temple and she feels a pop in the joint. Her dentist told her she has TMJ disorder and to wear a night guard.   But the night guard does not seem to be helping. Having had braces myself for a couple of years in the last decade, I can say from experience that each time the braces are tightened or adjusted, the cranial bones must compensate. There were times I could feel my cranial bones moving in response to what the orthodontist did with my braces. This young woman’s head was moving quite freely in some areas and very little in others. About halfway through our session, after I had worked with the parietal bones, the frontal bone, and the temporal bone, as well as releasing temporalis and masseter, her tenderness was down by half. I checked the lambdoid and occipitomastoid sutures and found them tight. I used SMRT principles to release both of these sutures before going back to re-palpate her jaw. The first thing I felt was sudden balance in the tissues working at the jaw. I asked how the tenderness was and was told it was gone. When she got up from the table, she opened her mouth wide several times, and said “Wow!!” repeatedly.

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