The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw (mandible) to the temporal bones in the skull & is located anterior (in front) of the ear. The TMJ allows the mandible to move up/down vertically, side/side laterally for talking, chewing, eating, and yawning.
Do SLPs treat the TMJ directly? NO!
When clients have TMD, we coordinate with a client’s doctors. Then, we conduct an oral motor & oral swallowing evaluation to determine how the function of the orofacial muscles has been affected. We develop a treatment plan in to improve the oral motor skills of the orofacial muscles for improved functional skills--chewing, eating, oral swallowing, oral resting position, and/or speaking.