TMJ Illustration
TMJ Illustration

Does your Jaw Click? Here's why...


Read below to learn what is happening and how massage can reduce clicking.

Are you embarrassed of the clicks and pops your jaw makes when eating, or talking?

It can get crazy loud right?

Quick Anatomy Lesson:

In the jaw joint, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) there is a disc that serves as a cushion within the joint space between the bony surfaces (See illustration above). It sits on top of a bone in the lower jaw called the condyle. Attached to the front portion of the disc is a muscle called the lateral pterygoid. When this muscles gets tight, from things like clenching, it can pull the disc forward and it becomes displaced. When this happens it is called an anteriorly displaced disc.

So what makes the clicking noise?

When the mouth opens, in a healthy TMJ, the disc sits on top of the condyle and moves together in a forward motion. However, when the disc is pulled too far forward it sits in front of the condyle, not on top which creates an obstacle. In order to fully open the mouth the disc has to jump over the back end of the disc to realign itself. This is what causes the click. Here is a more detailed explanation in an animated video.

How Can Massage Help?…..

The clients that I can help reduce clicking and popping are those that have an anteriorly displaced disc. For clients that have joint noise due to arthritis or other joint degeneration, my treatments unfortunately will not help reduce the sounds.

The Keys To Reduce Jaw Clicking

  • We want to get the muscles firing together
  • Decrease tension in the muscle attached to the disc
  • Guide the disc back to it’s proper position on top of the condyle

So how do we make this happen?…….

  • I assess the way your mouth moves on opening and closing. Is it pulling to one side?
  • I feel the joint while in motion to feel for clicks and determine if the joint is moving symmetrically, is there a delay?
  • Learn More about TMJ Treatments
  • I assess the muscles of the jaw for any imbalances, especially the lateral pterygoid.
  • Massage therapy treatments focused on on reducing tension in the muscles (particularly the one attached to the disc), creating more space in the joint, and helping guide the disc back into alignment.
  • A home care plan created and reviewed so we can create a compounding effects in between sessions.

With each massage treatment building on the last, in combination with home care, we will minimize or eliminate the joint noise.

Want quieter meals & conversations?

Call 226-493-1502 to schedule your initial assessment and treatment.

Book Your Appointment

or you can text/call:
(226) 493-1502

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