Acupuncture for Jaw Pain & TMJ Disorder

During periods of stress many of us hold tension in our jaws subconsciously, or grind our teeth whilst sleeping. This can cause pain and tenderness along the jaw, in the temples and upper neck- even in the ears.

Do you hear clicking or popping whilst chewing or yawning? This is likely due to dysfunction at the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), where your jaw joins you skull. Undiagnosed temporal headaches may be pain referred from tight masseter or temporalis muscles, due to clenching the jaw.

Although the jaw and face are difficult areas to treat in most modalities, studies show acupuncture to be one of the most effective methods of treatment for TMJ. One PubMed* study found 85% of patients receiving acupuncture for TMJ had their pain intensity reduced by 75%.

Multiple meridians transverse the face, many acupuncture points surround the temporomandibular joint and lye directly over the muscles associated with TMJ. Tiny, fine acupuncture needles are able to directly contact the strained muscles surrounding the jaw, instantly relaxing them, increasing blood flow to the area, triggering the release of pain reducing endorphins and moving stagnant qi. Not only does acupuncture address the muscles directly, ‘distal’ points in other areas of the body are used to relax the face & jaw and address any referred symptoms including tinnitus and headache. Similarly these points are combined with other points to address the underlying cause of jaw tension, markedly stress and anxiety.

If you’d like help with chronic or acute jaw pain book in with one of our experienced Chinese Medicine practitioners today! You can learn more about Acupuncture and book your appointment HERE.

Rosted P, Bundgaard M, Pedersen AM. The use of acupuncture in the treatment of temporomandibular dysfunction–an audit. Acupunct Med. 2006 Mar;24(1):16-22. doi: 10.1136/aim.24.1.16. PMID: 16618045