You grab the apple out of the fridge…open up your mouth and try to take a bite. 

What happens? Does it give you a sharp pain near your ear? 

Or maybe you just can’t open your mouth to actually eat the apple.  Have you resorted to chopping it into quarters cos it’s not too bad then?

Jaw or TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) pain can be a little worrying for the sufferer.  You often feel it when your jaw joint (TMJ) is not well- aligned and is therefore out of balance.

What Causes The Problem?

  • Grinding or clenching your teeth
  • Major dental work or surgery (due to your mouth being open for an extended period)
  • Habits like chewing gum on one side of the mouth and eating large, hard foods
    (ie. biting into a whole apple)
  • Neck and upper back trouble!
  • Alterations in posture which cause tightness through the jaw
  • Stress (causing muscle spasms and tightness)
  • Injuries ie. fall or a hit to the jaw

The many symptoms linked to jaw pain include:

  • Jaw clicking on opening and closing
  • Early morning jaw pain
  • Persistent headaches
  • Ear symptoms (ear pain/ringing, hearing loss, popping of the ear)
  • Sinusitis symptoms such as pressure
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Pain with eating/yawning
  • Stress
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Dizziness

How am I affecting my jaw problem?

Are you a “huncher?  Many of us are so don’t feel bad!  Neck stiffness and tightness associated with ‘hunching’ over desks, builds up tension at the base of the skull.  TMJ and the base of the skull work closely together due to their close proximity.

Our Osteopaths are experienced in addressing your neck issues when treating the TMJ.  We also consider ergonomic impacts, looking at you desk posture and changing position regularly, as it is important for your back and neck but will also benefit potential TMJ issues.

Clenching and grinding can be a result of emotional stress.  Our wholistic approach to the body facilitates looking into relaxation strategies to prevent the recurrence of your jaw pain.

Another tip to improve TMJ pain is to leave your teeth slightly separated throughout the day.  This relaxes the muscles, that would otherwise clench your jaw (these muscles are renowned for jaw-related headache!).


Osteopaths have a range of techniques and exercises to reduce this muscular & structural tension of TMJ disorders and most importantly looking at the underlying cause of the TMJ problem.

It is important to get the right diagnosis so you can receive the appropriate treatment for your specific condition.  Osteopaths are able to differentiate the cause by taking a detailed history followed by a thorough examination of your movements.

Make a booking

If you are needing help and would like to book an initial consultation, you can book your next appointment at Boroondara Osteopathy by calling our receptionist.  Click on the link below and you will be taken to our contact and bookings page or feel free to give us a call on (03) 9859 5059.