What Is TMD? Symptoms To Look Out For And How To Treat It

February 24, 2023 by Salt Lake Dental
What Is TMD

If you’ve ever had pain in your jaw, teeth, or face that won’t go away, you may be suffering from TMD. TMD stands for temporomandibular disorder, a condition affecting the joints and muscles in your head and neck.
TMD can be caused by several things, including clenching or grinding your teeth, stress, arthritis, misalignment of the teeth or jaws, or even injury to the head or neck. Symptoms of TMD can include pain in the jaw, face, ears, or neck; headaches; dizziness; ringing in the ears; and difficulty chewing or opening your mouth.
You must see your dentist or doctor if you think you may be suffering from TMD. They will be able to diagnose the condition and recommend treatment. Treatment for TMD can include wearing a mouth guard at night to prevent tooth grinding, doing jaw exercises to improve alignment and flexibility, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, and avoiding hard or chewy foods. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem.
If you are suffering from TMD, there is help available. Don’t suffer in silence – talk to your dentist or doctor about treatment options today.

Symptoms of TMD

The symptoms of TMD can vary depending on the individual, but there are some common signs to look out for. Pain is the most common symptom and can be felt in the jaw, face, neck, shoulders, or ears. Clicking or popping sounds when moving the jaw may also be present, as well as pain when chewing. The jaw may feel locked in place or difficult to move. Headaches and dizziness are other possible symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor so they can diagnose and treat the problem.

Causes of TMD

There are many possible causes of TMD, but the most common is arthritis. Arthritis can occur in the jaw joint, which is called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This can happen when the cartilage that cushions the joint wears down. Other possible causes of TMD include:
-Grinding or clenching your teeth (bruxism)
-A misaligned bite
-Teeth that are missing or crooked
-An injury to your jaw or TMJ
Any of these factors can contribute to TMD, and it is often a combination of several factors that leads to the condition.

Diagnosing TMD

There are a number of ways to diagnose TMD. Your doctor will likely ask you about your medical history and perform a physical examination. They may also order imaging tests, such as x-rays, to get a better look at your jaw and teeth. In some cases, they may refer you to a specialist, such as an oral surgeon or dentist, for further evaluation.
To make a diagnosis, your doctor will consider your symptoms and any Jaw pain or clicking noises you may be experiencing. They will also examine your mouth, face, and neck for signs of tenderness or swelling. Imaging tests can help them rule out other possible causes of your symptoms, such as tooth decay or arthritis.
Once TMD is diagnosed, your doctor will work with you to develop a treatment plan. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of your condition and may include lifestyle changes, medications, physical therapy, or surgery.

Treatments for TMD

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to treating TMD, as the condition can vary greatly from person to person. However, there are a number of effective treatments that can help relieve the symptoms of TMD and improve quality of life.
The most important step in treating TMD is to identify the underlying cause. Once the cause is known, treatment can be tailored specifically to address it. In many cases, a combination of treatments is necessary to achieve the best results.
Common treatments for TMD include:
Medications: Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, and/or antidepressants may be recommended to help ease pain and inflammation. Botox injections can also be helpful in some cases.
• Physical therapy: A physical therapist can teach you exercises and stretches to help improve your range of motion and reduce pain. Massage, heat/cold therapy, and ultrasound may also be used.
• Splint therapy: A splint worn at night can help hold the jaw in a comfortable position and prevent teeth grinding (bruxism).
• Surgery: Surgery may be recommended in severe cases where other treatments have failed to provide relief. This could involve joint replacement, reconstruction of the jawbone, or other procedures.

Home Remedies for TMD

Several home remedies can help to ease the symptoms of TMD. These include:
• Ice Packs: Applying an ice pack to the affected area can help to reduce inflammation and pain.
• Heat Packs: Applying a heat pack can help to loosen up the muscles and reduce pain.
• Massage: Gently massaging the affected area can also help to relieve muscle tension and pain.
• Exercise: Keeping the muscles around the joint strong and flexible through exercise can help prevent or reduce TMD symptoms.
If you are suffering from TMD, you must speak to your doctor or dentist to determine the best course of treatment for you. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem. However, there are a number of effective home remedies that can provide relief from the symptoms of TMD.

Prevention Tips

If you think you might have TMD, there are a few things you can do to prevent it from getting worse. First, try to avoid clenching or grinding your teeth. If you do grind your teeth, your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect them. You should also avoid chewing gum and eating hard foods like popcorn and nuts. If you must eat these things, be sure to cut them up into small pieces first.
You can also help prevent TMD by practicing good posture and alignment. When you sit or stand, be sure to keep your head level with your shoulders and your chin parallel to the ground. This will help take the pressure off of your jaw and temples. Additionally, make sure that any pillows or cushions you use support your neck and head to align with your spine.


TMD is a complex and often debilitating condition that can cause significant pain, difficulty eating, and even jaw locking. Fortunately, there are treatments available for TMD, depending on the severity of your symptoms. From physical therapy to lifestyle changes to medications or surgery, you have options for managing your TMJ disorder. Make sure you consult your doctor if you believe you may be suffering from TMD so they can help guide you toward the best treatment course.


Q1: What is TMD?

A1: TMD stands for Temporomandibular Disorder and is a condition caused by the misalignment of the jaw and its associated muscles. It can cause pain and discomfort in the jaw, face, neck and head.

Q2: What are the symptoms of TMD?

A2: Symptoms of TMD can include pain and discomfort in the jaw, face, neck and head, clicking or popping sounds in the jaw, difficulty opening and closing the mouth, changes in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together, and headaches.

Q3: How is TMD treated?

A3: Treatment for TMD usually involves a combination of medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes. If the condition is more severe, surgery may be recommended.