Many clients present with pain in one or other of their jaws (temporomandibular joints or TMJs). These clients often inform me that they have had no trauma to the neck or jaw area, and cannot understand why their problem started.

On further questioning it becomes apparent that certain repetitive habits have been present in that client’s daily life for a long time, and they have not been aware of it, or they have not been informed as to the detrimental effects of these habits.

I am not even talking about the well-known action of clenching of teeth during stressful times, or the chewing of nails or pens, or even the grinding of teeth during the night.

I am referring to the unbalanced action of eating only on one side of the mouth, purely from habit, or the leaning of the hand under the chin when at the computer. I am also referring to those regular chewing gum enthusiasts, particularly the smokers who want to “freshen the breath” before a meeting. Both jaw joints enjoy a centralised well hydrated disc, just like the ones we have in our spines. So overload or compression on the jaw through these repetitive bad habits can lead to pain, headaches and restrictions of the jaw area, similar to that which would occur if the spine were damaged by picking up a heavy bag.

Trish Lang has a special interest in treating jaw problems, please make an appointment for a personal assessment.