The TMJ or temporomandibular joint is the union between the mandible or jaw bone and the temporal bone of the skull. The TMJ is a relative complex joint in that allows for a combination of a gliding and pivoting movement. When the joint is open a meniscoid pad (like a small disc) slides into the joint to provide stability. This pad then slides out of the joint when the jaw closes. While this process is repeated many thousands time a day without any problems occasionally the meniscoid pad gets trapped within the joint. This can lead to variety of symptoms including clicking or locking of the jaw, face or ear pain and even headaches.
Chiropractors can often help alleviate the painful symptoms of a TMJ dysfunction by returning normal function to the joint. This is normally achieved through a combination of jaw mobilization techniques and exercises as well as massaging the muscles of the jaw.