How a Dentist Can Treat Your TMD

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How a Dentist Can Treat Your TMD

How a Dentist Can Treat Your TMD

17 May 2024
Dentist, Blog

Temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly referred to as TMD, can be a painful and frustrating condition affecting the jaw joint and the muscles controlling jaw movement. Seeking treatment from a dentist who specializes in TMD can offer relief and improve your quality of life significantly. Let's explore how a dentist can help treat your TMD.

Understanding TMD

Before delving into treatment options, it's essential to understand what TMD entails. This condition can manifest as jaw pain, difficulty chewing, clicking or popping sounds in the jaw, headaches, and even neck and shoulder pain. TMD can result from various factors, including stress, teeth grinding (bruxism), arthritis, or a misaligned bite.


The first step in treating TMD is an accurate diagnosis by a qualified dentist. Through a comprehensive evaluation, which may include physical examination, imaging tests like X-rays or MRI scans, and discussing your symptoms and medical history, the dentist can determine the underlying cause of your TMD and work to develop a treatment plan.

Orthodontic Treatments

For some individuals with TMD related to bite misalignment or malocclusion, orthodontic treatments may be recommended. By correcting the alignment of the teeth and jaws through braces or clear aligners, orthodontic interventions can help alleviate pressure on the temporomandibular joint and improve overall jaw function.

Night Guards or Splints

Nighttime teeth grinding (bruxism) is a common contributor to TMD symptoms. Your dentist may prescribe a custom-fitted night guard or splint to wear while sleeping. These oral appliances help protect your teeth from grinding forces and promote proper jaw alignment during sleep, reducing strain on the temporomandibular joint.

Physical Therapy

In some cases, physical therapy exercises may be incorporated into your treatment plan to strengthen jaw muscles, improve range of motion, and reduce pain associated with TMD. Your dentist may teach you specific exercises or refer you to a physical therapist specializing in jaw rehabilitation.

Medication Management

To manage acute pain and inflammation associated with TMD, your dentist may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers or prescribed medications like muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatories. These medications can help alleviate discomfort while other treatment modalities take effect.

Lifestyle Modifications

In addition to professional treatments, making lifestyle modifications can support your recovery from TMD. Stress management techniques, dietary changes to promote jaw health, avoiding hard or chewy foods that aggravate symptoms, and practicing good posture can all contribute to improved jaw function and reduced pain.

Follow-Up Care

Regular follow-up appointments with your dentist are crucial for monitoring progress, adjusting treatment as needed, and addressing any new concerns that may arise. Open communication with your dental provider ensures that you receive ongoing support throughout your journey to better oral health and improved TMJ function.

If you're experiencing symptoms of TMD, like jaw pain or clicking noises when opening your mouth, don't hesitate to seek help from a dentist who specializes in TMD treatment. Contact a provider like Carolyn Bronke, DDS to learn more. 

About Me
Got Tooth Decay? Finding Dental Care Tips Right For You

When it comes to my dental care, I only use the best toothbrushes, toothpastes and flosses. But sometimes, even after being vigilant and careful with my oral care, I experience problems like toothaches. Last year, I developed a small cavity in one of my back teeth. I didn't want to bother my dentist about it, so I simply took pain medications and hoped for the best. But after my jaw began to swell up, I sought professional dental help. My small cavity was actually a large hole filled with infection. I ended up having an extraction. Now, I visit my dentist as often as I can, because I can't afford to lose anymore teeth. I want to share my experiences with other people, so I created this blog. I offer tips on how to keep your teeth healthy and when to see a dentist. Thanks for visiting.