Temporal Mandibular Dysfunction (TMD)

TMJ stands for Temporomandibular joint or the jaw joint.  The TMJs are the small joints in front of each ear that attach the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull (maxilla).  They allow you to perform such functions as opening and closing your mouth, chewing, speaking and swallowing.  TMJ dysfunction refers to a malfunction of how the jaw joint should work normally.  You may experience a variety of symptoms including:

  • facial pain
  • pain in the jaw joint and surrounding tissues, including the ear
  • jaw locking open or closed
  • clicking or clunking of the jaw
  • limited opening or inability to open the mouth comfortably
  • headaches
  • bite that feels uncomfortable, "off", or as if it is continually changing
  • neck, shoulder and back pain
  • swelling on the side of the face


How Therapy Can Help


Therapy can help by increasing your ability to actively participate in everyday activities including work, speech, eating normal foods and by reducing pain and discomfort.  This is accomplished through a comprehensive initial evaluation and specialized treatment.


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What to Expect

Once you have scheduled your first appointment with us, we will need to gather important information to ensure we provide you with the best possible care.  A patient information packet will need to be completed and provided to our staff when you arrive for your first appointment.  The patient information packet will include a description of what to expect, as well as a patient history questionnaire.  Your patient information packet can be mailed to your home or downloaded here.

Following the evaluation, an individualized treatment plan is developed. This plan is based on the evaluation findings, and input from your physician.  Treatment for temporal mandibular dysfunction may include the following:

  • soft tissue massage
  • joint mobilization
  • patient education
  • ultrasound
  • iontophoresis
  • ice/heat
  • functional exercises
  • home exercise program

Your doctor will receive a copy of the initial evaluation, regular progress notes, and the discharge summary.