NOVA Orofacial Pain, TMD & Dental Sleep Medicine

TMD Symptoms & Treatment

What is TMD?

“A collective term embracing a number of clinical problems that involve the masticatory musculature, the TMJ and associated structure or both.”*

*de Leeuw: Orofacial Pain AAOP Guidelines Quintessence Publishers, 2013, p116.


A typical temporomandibular disorder (TMD) may involve the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or any of its surrounding soft tissues. Orofacial pain refers to any condition that manifests with pain in the head. Common symptoms include:

jaw pain
jaw noise
jaw locking
limited jaw opening
atypical tooth pain
ear pain

Clinicians trained in the treatment of TMD, orofacial pain, oral medicine and dental sleep medicine are available for evaluation and treatment.

They include dentists, physical therapists, health psychologists, and other physician specialists. Some ways you can begin to reduce jaw pain are to stop gum chewing, eat foods that require less chewing, limit caffeine, and avoid jaw activities that increase jaw tension or noise. When eating, try to chew on both sides of your mouth simultaneously. Avoid jaw clenching and leaning on your jaw. You may find that heat or cold applied to the jaw(s) is helpful. Over the counter pain remedies may also help decrease jaw discomfort. These may offer short-term relief until you can be evaluated.

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