What is TMD? Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are disorders that arise from problems with the occlusion (the contact between teeth), jaw joint, and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw. Symptoms include: clicking/popping sounds in the jaw, jaws that get 'stuck' or 'locked' in the open- or closed-mouth position, difficulty chewing, and swelling/pain/tenderness in the face.
When using the Temple Massager for relieving the facial muscle tension relating to TMD it is important to use the small single massage tip and apply a small amount of non scented lotion to the skin in front of the ear to reduce and prevent skin friction irritation.
Focusing the massager tip close to and around the TMJ joint is most effective while letting the mouth hang open, the muscle is engaged if the mouth is closed so practice massaging while remembering to leave your jaw open and not engaged. Having your mouth open is the best way to massage into the TMJ area and under the cheek. Also massaging around the top area of the ear and around the Temple area is good too. Massaging the entire area but more specific to the area in front of the ear is best.
Dr. Karen Kahn, a dentist at the Cleveland Clinic who specializes in facial pain and TMJ disorders says "Many patients walk around with their teeth clenched," she says. "Once they learn to relax the jaw, they can feel better." Kahn often works with patients to raise awareness of their daytime habits, too, by asking them to put reminders around their offices and homes that prompt them to check if their mouths are in proper resting position: lips together, teeth apart, tongue tip touching the roof of the mouth. You can read more about Dr. Kahn and TMD in this article.
We are excited to have Dr. Mark Abramson, founder of the Stanford School of Medicine Mindfulness Based Stress Clinic, support the use of the Temple Massager to stimulate relax and relieve tension in the facial muscles often associated with TMD.