What Are The Symptoms?

Temporo-Mandibular Disorder (TMD) often causes severe pain and discomfort. It can be temporary or last many years. It might affect one or both sides of your face. More women than men have it, and it’s most common among people between the ages of 20 and 40.

Common symptoms include:

  • Pain or tenderness in your face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide
  • Problems when you try to open your mouth wide
  • Jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open- or closed-mouth position
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when you open or close your mouth or chew. This may or may not be painful.
  • A tired feeling in your face
  • Trouble chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite — as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
  • Swelling on the side of your face

You may also have toothaches, headaches, neck aches, dizziness, earaches, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

TMD Treatment

Treatment for TMD depends largely on the causes and the individual patient. Most treatments are conservative and designed to reduce pain and restore function. Treatment takes time to work especially if the symptoms have been present for some time.
Some treatments include:

  • Dietary instructions to eat soft foods, not to yawn or open too wide
  • Avoid habits such as chewing pencils and gum
  • Massage the affected areas and use hot packs
  • Physiotherapy and postural training
  • All forms of relaxation are encouraged as stress reduction is very important.  Exercise, reading, yoga, music and seeking professional help from counsellors are effective ways to manage stress.
  • Occlusal splints (night guards) 
  • In a very small number of severe cases steroid injections and arthroscopic surgery may be necessary.