A Basic Guide To TMJ / TMD Treatment

A Basic Guide To TMJ / TMD Treatment

Sep 01, 2021

Temporomandibular joints are the two joints that join your lower jaw to your skull. These joints are located in front of the ear on both sides, comprising temporal bone and mandible. The TMJs are one of the most sophisticated joints in the human body. These joints allow your jaw to move up, down, and sideways.

If the TMJs are well synchronized, smooth muscle operations are flawless. You conduct activities such as chewing, yawning, talking, and swallowing effortlessly. However, if they are misaligned, several problems pop up. The joints misalign because of temporomandibular disorder.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Temporomandibular disorders are conditions of the TMJ, jaw muscles, and nerves that cause chronic facial pain. Problems that distract the normal functioning of the muscles, joints, and bones result in TMD.

3 Types of TMD

Although there are various types of TMD, you can have more than one condition at a time.

1. Myofascial pain
It’s the most popular form of TMD. It occurs due to pain in the fascia and the muscles that control the jaw, neck, and shoulders.

2. Internal derangement of the joint
This is a result of a displaced disk or dislocated jaw. It also occurs due to an injury to the condyle (the rounded end of the jawbone).

3. Degenerative joint disease
This disorder happens when rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Causes of TMD

The real cause of this disorder is unknown. Some activities are linked with TMD. Extreme strain on the jaw joints and the muscles that control speech, swallowing, and chewing are associated with TMD. Such tension may result from bruxism, a condition where a patient’s teeth grind and clench involuntarily.

Also, trauma on the neck, head, or jaw may cause TMD. Other conditions that may cause TMD comprise of arthritis and displacement of the jaw joint disks.

In some cases, other painful medical conditions often override TMD pain. Such conditions include irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia. A recent study concludes that certain factors increase the risk of developing chronic TMD. Such factors include genetic, nervous, psychological, sensory, and clinical aspects.

Signs and symptoms of TMD

TMD has many signs and symptoms, some of which resemble symptoms of other medical conditions. It’s advisable to visit a doctor to determine a proper diagnosis. The signs and symptoms include:

  • Discomfort of the jaw
  • Pain behind the eyes, across the face, along the neck and shoulder
  • Headaches
  • Jaw locking
  • The clicking of the jaw
  • Earache or echoes in the ear
  • Dizziness
  • Reduced mouth movement
  • Sensitivity of the teeth bar an oral health disease
  • Numbness of the fingers
  • A shift in the fitting of the upper and lower teeth

Treatment options for TMD

If you identify the above symptoms, you should visit a dental practice that offers TMJ dental services to conduct a diagnosis. The dentist determines the type of treatment based on several factors. The factors include:

  • Your age
  • Sensitivity to various types of medicine
  • The estimated time the condition takes to heal
  • Your preference
  • Your general health and medical history

Treating TMD often involves various methods. Treatment options may include home care, medication, or a nightguard. The treatment approach will vary from person to person. The dentist may combine several options depending on your condition. Most common TMJ dental treatment services include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Posture training
  • Medicine and pain killers
  • Resting the temporomandibular joint
  • Stress management and relation techniques
  • Behaviors changes
  • Diet adjustment
  • Surgery

Alternative Treatment

Alternative treatment options do not address the causes of TMD. They provide instant relief only. These options include:

  • Botox injections
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
  • Ultrasound
  • Radio wave therapy
  • Trigger-point injections

Benefits of TMJ/TMD Treatment

Treatment alleviates chronic pain, headaches and earaches associated with TMD. Treatment also allows reduces the risk for dental damage and enhances your overall health.


To receive excellent dental treatment, always visit reputable dental clinics. If you want to access TMJ dentist in Wellesley, MA visit Wellesley Dental Arts . Your case will be handled by a team of skilled dentists.

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