Wellness Journal

Treating Temporomandibular Joint Disorder with Active Release

Treating Temporomandibular Joint Disorder with Active Release

Asymmetries in the muscles of mastication commonly develop when the muscles that surround the TMJ joints become restricted. Mastication refers to chewing and grinding food in your mouth so it becomes soft enough to swallow. The muscles of mastication are the masseter muscle, temporalis muscle, medial pterygoid muscle, and the lateral pterygoid muscle.
When imbalances in the muscles of mastication occur the type of observable dysfunction will be directly related to which muscle has been affected. Masticatory muscle function correlates closely with muscle fibers direction. In most cases, restrictions in the muscles of mastication can easily be treated with ART procedures. The following muscles are some of the common structures treated in the jaw with ART procedures.

Common symptoms include:

Pain or tenderness in your face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide
Problems when you try to open your mouth wide
Jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open- or closed-mouth position
Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when you open or close your mouth or chew. This may or may not be painful.
A tired feeling in your face
Trouble chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite — as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
Swelling on the side of your face

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