Breaking Down The Different Types of TMJ/TMD Therapy: Which Is Right For You?

Breaking Down The Different Types of TMJ/TMD Therapy: Which Is Right For You?

Jul 01, 2023

TMJ/TMD therapy is the treatment of Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Temporomandibular joints, on the other hand, are the joints located on either side of your jaw which connect your jawbone to your skull. The joints enable you to chew, yawn, and speak. The TMJ is among the most used body parts and is hence susceptible to wear and tear. TMD is a dental disorder that occurs as a result of damage to temporomandibular bones. A TMJ disorder causes pain in your jaw joints and muscles.

About TMJ/TMD Therapy

TMD/TMJ therapy is the treatment of temporomandibular joint disorder. The treatment consists of various treatment options like medications, physical therapy, and self-care. The method of treatment depends on the severity of your TMD. TMD therapy entails the following:

The Use of Dental Appliances

Some of the dental appliances that may be recommended by a dentist near you for TMJ therapy include splints, mouthguards, and night guards. Mouthguards prevent teeth from clenching or getting injured during physical activity, while a night guard prevents your teeth from grinding at night. Splints, on the other hand, avoid the discomfort of loose teeth moving during chewing or other activities. Splints attach teeth to the jawbone by their roots, keeping them intact during biting and chewing and correcting the alignment of your teeth.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is an effective method of treating TMJ as it relieves muscle pain. The procedure is non-invasive and alleviates pain. There are various techniques used in physical therapy, but your physical therapist suggests a suitable approach depending on the severity of your ailment. Physical therapy programs for TMd include:

  • Education– Here, your physical therapist advises you on tips to alleviate pain and correct the disorder. The methods include proper posture, resting the position of your tongue, eating soft foods, and exercising.
  • Modalities- Modalities effectively reduce muscle spasms, reduce swelling, and alleviate pain. They include using methods like heat or ice treatment, light therapy, and electrical stimulation.
  • Therapeutic Exercises- Your therapist shows you exercises to repeat daily. The exercises help you reduce pain and swelling as well as relax tense muscles. Further, the exercises improve joint movements, and repeat them all through your therapy ears fruits.


Self-care therapy treats mild TMD. The practices include the following:

  • Gentle chewing
  • Eating finely chopped food
  • Using heat packs and cold packs to alleviate pain
  • Gently massaging tensed muscles
  • Learning various relaxation techniques


Orthodontics is a mode of treatment that deals with the correction of teeth structure and alignment. Dentists use it as a mode of TMJ treatment in Pearland, TX. An orthodontist first accesses your jaws and facial muscles before treatment. Then, they refer you to a TMJ specialist if you have complications. The treatment method involves using braces alongside other techniques to correct TMD.


Doctors use medicines like low-dose antidepressants, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory drugs, and analgesics to manage TMD. The method may also involve injections and topical medications based on the gravity of the patient’s TMD.

Symptoms of TMD

Symptoms of TMD vary from individual to individual, but the most common signs include the following:

  • Pain in the jaw while chewing or swallowing
  • Pain and difficulty while opening and closing your mouth
  • Pain in the neck, back, and shoulder
  • Sensitivity
  • Toothaches and earaches

Visit a dentist at 77581 in case you are experiencing the above symptoms.

Causes of TMD/ TMD

Some factors that cause TMD include the following:

  • Jaw injury or trauma
  • Habitual teeth grinding and clenching
  • Inflamma
  • Psychological or emotional stress
  • Abnormal bite
  • Hormonal factors like hormonal changes during pregnancy and menstruation in women

Types of TMD

There are three categories of TMD, and they include the following:

Myofascial Pain

It is the most popular type of TMD associated with pain in muscle trigger points. However, the pain may also affect your neck, shoulders, and muscles responsible for jaw movements. The causes of myofascial pain include muscle tension, trauma to the jaw, and teeth clenching, among others.

Internal Derangement

Internal derangement causes pain or popping of the jaw. The condition occurs after the displacement of the articular joint from the consular head.

Degenerative Joint Disease

Degenerative joint disease occurs as a result of joint deterioration over time. It is caused by arthritis or inflammation. The condition causes extreme pain and stiffness during jaw movements.

Choose The Right Option For You

Choosing the ideal treatment option for your TMD requires the help of a healthcare provider. They enlighten you about all the possible options, risks, and costs of procedures during treatment for you to make an informed decision.


There are three types of TMD: myofascial pain, internal derangement, and degenerative joint disease. However, your symptoms determine the treatment option. The methods used to treat TMD include medication, dental appliances, and physical therapy. The tell-tale signs of TMD include toothaches, sensitivity, pain in the jaw during chewing, and sensitivity. Contact our dentist at Harmony Dental (TX) if you experience any of those symptoms.