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What is Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)?

Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) presents as a significant clinical problem that affects approximately 75% of the US population, 10-12% of which seek or require professional care.

TMD refers to a complex set of conditions manifested by pain and dysfunction in the region of the face, jaw, head and neck. Rarely is there a single cause or symptom, the pain may arise from a sudden trauma or progressively over months to years. Symptoms may fluctuate over time with change in frequency and intensity. Due to the complexity of symptoms there is no quick/immediate cure for TMD and the most successful and scientifically supported treatments focus on self-management and control of aggravating factors. Long term relief can be achieved with conservative therapy.

What is the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)?

TMJ is a loose fitting rotating-sliding joint with fibrocartilage and a football shaped ball(condyle), fibrous pad (disc), socket (fossa). The Disc stabilizes the joint as we open and close our mouth while the ball rotates and slides.

What are the signs and symptoms of TMD?

Headaches, pain behind the eyes or blurred vision, unexplained tooth pain, ear ache, congestion or ringing, clicking, popping or grating, limited opening or locking, dizziness, pain when chewing, facial/head pain or numbness, neck or throat pain, difficulty closing teeth, jaw fatigue, hearing loss.

What are some of the causes?

Poor posture, neck and upper back joint or muscle dysfunction, trauma or whiplash, tooth alignment/bite, clenching or grinding, mouth breathing, habits such as nail biting.

How can we treat you?

  • Comprehensive physical therapy evaluation

  • Collaboration with other providers involved in your care

  • Postural training

  • Myofascial release

  • Massage

  • Joint manipulation/mobilization

  • Pain easing modalities (ultrasound, TENS, Intramuscular dry needling

  • Neuromuscular Re-education and exercises

  • Patient education