TMJ/TMD Treatment: Relieving Jaw Pain and Restoring Comfort

TMJ/TMD Treatment: Relieving Jaw Pain and Restoring Comfort

Jul 10, 2023

TMJ/TMD affects the jaw joint and the surrounding muscles, ligaments, and nerves. The TMJ is responsible for jaw movements, including chewing, talking, and yawning. TMJ/TMD can cause pain and discomfort in the jaw, face, neck, and shoulders, clicking sounds when opening or closing the jaw. The causes of TMJ/TMD can vary, including injury, arthritis, teeth grinding, stress, or misaligned teeth or jaw. Diagnosis of TMJ/TMD may involve a physical exam, X-rays, or other imaging tests. In severe cases, TMJ/TMD treatment near you may include medications, physical therapy, mouthguards, or surgery.

What are the Causes of TMJ/TMD?

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD) is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint. The TMJ disorder can be caused by several factors, including:

  • Injury: Trauma to the jaw, such as injury to the face or whiplash, can cause TMJ/TMD. This can result in inflammation, dislocation, or damage to the temporomandibular joint or surrounding muscles and ligaments.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis in the jaw joint can cause TMJ/TMD, particularly in older adults. Arthritis causes pain and stiffness, making it difficult to move the jaw.
  • Teeth grinding: Habitual teeth grinding or clenching, also known as bruxism, can cause TMJ/TMD. Excessive pressure on the jaw joint can lead to inflammation and damage over time.
  • Stress: Stress and anxiety can cause muscle tension in the jaw and lead to TMJ/TMD. When stressed, most people grind their teeth and are more likely to develop this disorder.
  • Misaligned teeth or jaw: A misaligned bite or jaw can cause extra stress and pressure on the temporomandibular joint.
  • Genetics: Some people may be more prone to TMJ/TMD due to genetic factors. Research suggests that genetic variations may increase the risk of developing this disorder.

Visit a dentist near you for a proper diagnosis if you are experiencing jaw problems.

What are the Signs of TMD/TMJ?

The symptoms of TMJ/TMD can vary widely and may include:

  • Jaw pain: This pain may be dull or sharp and may be felt on one or both sides of the face.
  • Headaches: Many people with TMJ/TMD experience tension headaches or migraines. These headaches may accompany jaw pain, neck pain, or other symptoms.
  • Ear pain: TMJ/TMD can cause ear pain. This pain may be mistaken for an ear infection or other ear-related condition.
  • Clicking or popping sounds: Another common symptom of TMJ/TMD is clicking or popping sounds when opening or closing the mouth.
  • In severe cases of TMJ/TMD, the jaw may become locked, making it difficult or impossible to open or close the mouth fully.
  • Facial pain: TMJ/TMD can also cause pain in the face, particularly around the cheeks, temples, and forehead.
  • Neck and shoulder pain: TMJ/TMD can cause referred pain, which may be felt in the neck and shoulders.
  • Tinnitus: Some people with TMJ/TMD may experience ringing or other sounds in the ears, known as tinnitus.

What are the Treatments for TMJ/TMD?

TMJ/TMD treatment in St. Armands may include:

  • Pain medications: Pain medications such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help relieve pain and inflammation associated with TMJ/TMD.
  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help improve jaw function and reduce pain in people with TMJ/TMD. Therapies may include massage, stretching exercises, and heat or ice therapy.
  • Mouthguards: Mouthguards or oral splints can help reduce pressure on the jaw joint and prevent teeth grinding or clenching, which can aggravate TMJ/TMD symptoms.
  • Relaxation techniques: Stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga may help relieve muscle tension in the jaw and reduce TMJ/TMD symptoms.
  • Surgery: In severe cases of TMJ/TMD, your dentist in St. Armands may recommend surgery to repair or replace damaged joint components. This may involve arthroscopy or open-joint surgery.
  • Lifestyle changes: Simple lifestyle changes such as avoiding hard or chewy foods, practicing good posture, and avoiding habits such as nail-biting or gum-chewing can help reduce TMJ/TMD symptoms.


TMJ/TMD treatment can be a life-changing experience for those who suffer from jaw pain and discomfort. While many treatments aren’t available, it is crucial to find an ideal. It may involve a combination of physical therapy, medication, or even surgery in severe cases. Visit Tarpon Shores Dental for more information about TMJ/TMD treatments.