Growing Care PDXPain, popping, clicking, clunking, locking, grinding… any of these sound familiar? Then you may have what often gets called “TMJ”, short for Temporomadibular Joint- which is the anatomical name for your hinging jaw joint.

There are several muscles and ligaments that surround this joint, a disc that rests within it, and a capsule that surrounds it. Further connections include the muscles and fascia of your neck and face, as well as the joints of your skull and cervical spine. Problems can occur at any of these levels, causing one or several of the above named symptoms.

As Dr. Jess is a former TMJ sufferer, we have tremendous compassion for the discomfort and inconvenience it causes. She spent several years seeing a “specialist” who made her every type of hideous appliance, and eventually suggested that she have surgery for her “arthritis” (at age 17). But did he ever give her exercises or even touch any part of her jaw? Of course he didn’t.

Fortunately, we have many hands-on, non-surgical, non-drug techniques that address the anatomical structures surrounding the jaw to help release the imbalance causing the pain, popping and so on. We use our hands to work on the muscles and ligaments, both from the outside and inside your mouth, allowing the jaw to rediscover it’s natural alignment.

Though we should remind you first off, that the jaw is a classic dumping grounds for stress, anxiety and pent-up emotions. So, if you are finding yourself knowingly nodding your head at that- please take a deep breath, start there, and come see me when you’re ready to take on the next layer to a happy jaw.