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Man with temporomandibular disorder holding his jaw

What is Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)?

Written By: Kristen Faigle, PT, DPT, OCS, COMT, SportsCare Waldwick Clinical Director

Temporomandibular disorder or TMD, is a common musculoskeletal condition that is effectively treated with physical therapy.

The temporomandibular joints, TMJ, are the two joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull.

These joints allow movement of your jaw to open and close and move side to side for daily functions of talking, yawning, eating, and smiling.

TMD occurs when structures within and around these joints of muscles, ligaments, disk, and bones become irritated and impaired.

Common symptoms include jaw pain and clicking, limited jaw movement, headaches, earaches and difficulty with daily tasks of yawning, chewing and/or smiling.

Physical therapists use a variety of treatment techniques including soft tissue releases, joint mobilizations, modalities, posture education, and stability exercises to correct dysfunction at the TMJ.

Avoiding certain habits of clenching and grinding teeth and foods such as those that require prolonged chewing are also helpful tips in eliminating symptoms

If you suffer from any jaw pain or clicking, please click to sign up for a complimentary screening to see how physical therapy can help alleviate your TMD.

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