Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJD)

The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is essential to your dog’s ability to bite or chew because it is this joint that makes the jaw open and close correctly.  Any type of disorder in the TMJ area can prevent your dog from opening or closing his mouth. There are several reasons that a dog may have gotten a TMJ disorder, such as injury, dislocation, and chronic swelling due to dental or other problems. Dogs that have a long muzzle or a short muzzle are more susceptible to TMJ disorders.  Consultation with a Vet is imperative prior to deciding if massage is a viable option.

TMJ dysfunction is associated with pain or discomfort around the teeth, ear or other referred areas of the head with muscle tenderness and limited range of motion of the jaw, it can affect both sides of the jaw or one side.  Clicking noises are possible.

If your beloved has TMJ Dysfunction, he/she could benefit from regular massage with a focus on this area.  Massage warms up and relaxes the upper neck and jaw, reducing stiffness and promoting circulation.  Ultimately, the goal is to reduce excessive fibrotic tissue formation.

Little Barnie here regularly receives TMJ massage as he suffered a skull fracture before I adopted him.  I am mindful of this old injury causing issues in his latter years and as I like to say, prevention is key!