Osteopathy and jaw disorders

What is Osteopathy?


Osteopathy is a manual therapy recognised by the World Health Organisation. It aims at diagnosing, preventing and treating functional disorders of the body that are relative to an imbalance. Such imbalances can affect one or several different systems of the body: musculoskeletal, neurological, digestive…

Osteopathy has a global approach of the body and the functional disorders that are treated have to be distinguished from organic troubles needing allopathic treatments (ulcers, fracture, etc.).


Osteopathy has a double role as the patient can consult for a treatment or for prevention. In those two cases, it allows the patient to recover a balancer and to improve wellbeing.


Anybody can consult an osteopath if needed, newborns, children, pregnant women, adults or elderly people.


Some of the most common reasons for consultations:


  • - Back or neck pain
  • - Sciatica or cervico-brachial nevralgia
  • - Sports injuries
  • - Stress related symptoms
  • - Digestive disorders
  • - Post-trauma sequela
  • - Pregnancy or post-partum related pain



Jaw Disorders



Osteopathy can treat efficiently something quite less common: jaw disorders.

The jaw is doing about 10 000 movements a day! It is not surprising this region of the body is subjected to strain.

The jaw’s movements are allowed thanks to the joint between the lower joint and the skull. This is the temporo-mandibular joint.

This joint allows several functions such as mastication, deglutition, yawning and phonation.

The symptoms of a jaw dysfunction are so diverse it can be hard to find out at first that it is related to the jaw. Lots of patients come to consult after having tried everything they could or because they cannot handle the pain anymore.


Some symptoms can be:


  • - Pain and/or difficulties when opening the mouth, masticating, swallowing or talking
  • - Pain around the jaw and lower jaw, the ear
  • - Snapping or sand-like sound in the ear when opening the mouth
  • - Headaches for more than two weeks
  • - Cervical and shoulder pain
  • - Buzzing in the ear, clogged ear feeling (with normal ENT check-up)
  • - Lost of taste



How osteopathy can treat jaw disorders



woman laying down while another woman is massaging her jaw



Around 50% to 75% of the population shows at least one clinical sign but only 5 to 6% go consult.

When the symptom is not painful, you can choose not to consult still need to be aware that this problem can get worse with time.


Your osteopath, specialized in jaw disorder, is going to handle your body, looking for tensions and imbalances. He will do a more thorough analyze of the jaw in order to look at the enamel’s state, missing teeth and to check the possibility of teeth-grinding, orthodontic treatment.

This needs to be done in collaboration with your dentist to insure the best treatment possible.


After a few appointments, you will see the pain decreasing and you will be able to perform larger movements with your jaw.



By Charlotte Mernier, osteopath at the French Dental Practice

Charlotte MERNIER