An osteopath in Hamburg holds a dental model in his hand.


There are many connections between teeth, the temporomandibular joint and neck muscles, the spine, the pelvis, organs, emotions and stress. Taking these into account during treatment is the key to successful osteopathic treatment.

The direct collaboration between osteopath and dentist is the key to the effective treatment of, for example, chewing muscle and jaw joint pain. Only when both work hand in hand and osteopathy and dentistry are interlinked can the desired healing success be achieved.

In practice, this means that the osteopath and dentist work together to find the causes of the dysfunction in the stomatognathic system. The dentist looks in the mouth for inflammation, incorrect tooth contact, insufficient dentures, pathological processes in the temporomandibular joints and so on.

The osteopath examines the entire body, including the temporomandibular joint, for malpositions and dysfunctions that may be associated with pain in the jaw area.

On this page, you as a patient will learn everything you need to know about the osteopathic treatment of jaw disorders. Torsten Liem published studies, articles and several textbooks for osteopaths, dentists and orthodontists on craniomandibular dysfunction.

Relationships between body and teeth

There are many connections between teeth and the rest of the body.

For example, if the teeth fit well on one side but not on the other, the body constantly tries to bite the teeth together perfectly. This can lead to incorrect loading of the temporomandibular joints and thus to chewing muscle or temporomandibular joint pain.

The head is involuntarily held in a different position due to these circumstances, the cervical spine is loaded differently and the thoracic and lumbar spine must compensate for this change.

Other consequences can include pelvic misalignment and blockage of the sacroiliac joint (between the pelvis and sacrum), hip problems, foot or knee pain. Conversely, foot injuries, knee, hip, spinal or organ disorders can also lead to painful incorrect loading in the jaw joint, changes in tooth contact and chewing muscle tension as well as headaches and migraines.

There are also correlations between high shoulders and a shift of the lower jaw to one side.

Functional leg length differences and pelvic obliquities are associated with jaw asymmetries (Lippold 2000). If the spine has a scoliosis (lateral curvature), the lower jaw may be displaced. The teeth adapt to the change in the form of a crossbite (Kares 2001).

An informative diagram showing the bones of a human leg, useful for sports osteopathy and osteopathic treatments in Hamburg.

In people with an open bite, i.e. the front teeth do not completely close off the oral cavity, the increased mouth breathing can lead to intestinal disorders. According to the literature, a common cause of chewing muscle tension is a shortened leg, which in turn causes the pelvis to be crooked (shaper). If one or more teeth have too much contact (occlusion disorders), this can lead to tension in the neck muscles and painful changes in the cervical and thoracic spine.

The consequences of birth trauma can affect the cervical spine and base of the skull under certain circumstances, favouring the development of temporomandibular joint disorders years later.

A man with toothache, holding his hand, seeks relief from osteopathy in Hamburg.


If the head posture is influenced by the body posture, the lower jaw automatically shifts in the same direction. This means that when the head is tilted backwards, the lower jaw also shifts backwards.

If this is a permanent condition due to poor posture, it can lead to incorrect loading of the jaw joint, the teeth suddenly no longer fit together perfectly and the tongue muscles become tense. In addition, the masticatory muscles can work harder as they try to restore the original situation, which can lead to headaches and neck pain.

As the chewing muscles work harder and the patient tries to re-establish tooth contact, they may start to grind or clench their teeth.


Patient dialogue

In the case of disorders of the stomatognathic system, it is important to take into account any previous dental treatment in connection with the symptoms, such as dentures, prosthetic restorations, oral and maxillofacial surgery, splints or orthodontic treatment. However, concurrent illnesses, accidents or operations also play a role.

General investigation

After analysing the patient's posture and movement, the osteopath first palpates specific osteopathically relevant areas of the patient's body and, if necessary, detects even the smallest structural and tissue changes in bones, muscles and organs during the preliminary examination.

Temporal lobe epilepsy is a disorder characterised by recurrent seizures originating in the temporal lobe of the brain.
A line drawing of a woman and a man standing side by side undergoing osteopathic treatment in Hamburg.


Posture has an effect on the position of the temporomandibular joint.

With a forward-facing posture type, which tends to let the head "hang", the lower jaw and thus the temporomandibular joints are shifted further forwards simply due to the force of gravity (Fig. 3). In the forward-facing posture type, the lower jaw is more often shifted backwards.

By correcting the posture, it is possible to change the position of the temporomandibular joints in the long term.

This means that if osteopathic treatment results in better posture, the treatment of TMJ problems is also more successful, as all additional dysfunctions are largely eliminated.


In osteopathy, the temporomandibular joint, like any other part of the body, can only be understood in the overall context of the organism.

Therefore, in osteopathy, general osteopathic tests are carried out at the beginning of the examination to recognise which parts of the body are involved. The osteopath assesses tissue movements and looks for key disorders, for example by testing movement restrictions in various postures.

The patient must therefore stand, sit or lie down. This allows the practitioner to find out whether the TMJ pain is the primary dysfunction or whether it is an ascending problem in which the shoulders, pelvis, legs or even the feet play a role. For example, tin foil can be placed between the teeth on the affected side to see if the existing shoulder elevation or pelvic misalignment improves. With this Patient for example, you can see a shoulder high on the left side when standing. The thoracic spine is tilted slightly to the right in the upper area. However, the right earlobe is higher than the left.

An osteopath in Hamburg holds a dental model in his hand.
A denture on a black background showing the expertise of a Hamburg osteopath in paediatric osteopathy.


The osteopath should be able to distinguish key disorders from secondary causes.

This is decisive for the choice of technique and the success of the treatment. Causative tissue dysfunctions are resolved using various traction, pressure and displacement techniques. This restores the natural mobility of the blocked organ or joint. Ideally, the body receives signals to regulate itself. Treatment is carried out according to the results of the examination.

All dysfunctions of the body that affect the function of the temporomandibular joint are treated. This can include bones, muscles, fascia and organs.

Specialised treatment of the temporomandibular joint involves many different techniques. However, it is essential for the success of the treatment that the many significant relationships between the jaw and other structures are incorporated into the treatment. It is therefore often only possible to bring about an improvement by treating distant structures.

Osteopathy Hamburg


With my blog I would like to make the field of holistic health consisting of expert knowledge and practical insights on MIND, BODY and LIFESTYLE accessible to the general public.

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