Is there a cure for temporomandibular disorder (TMD)?

Yes. For most people, TMD is a reversible problem that can be treated using noninvasive and simple methods. Treatment typically involves resting the jaw, taking pain medications, practicing stress relief techniques, and modifying behavior (such as learning not to clench the teeth). If pain persists after trying these techniques, more intense treatment may be needed. This can include oral devices that will prevent teeth grinding, physical therapy, stronger pain medication, or posture training, all of which have been successful in relieving these disorders.

Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) means that you are having problems with your temporomandibular joint and muscles (your jaw joint and the muscles around it). TMD can often be relieved with some simple steps. These include:

  • cold packs on your face to reduce pain in your jaw and face
  • moist heat for pain reduction
  • avoiding activities that cause symptoms, such as gum-chewing
  • exercises to stretch or relax the muscles around your jaw (a doctor, physical therapist, or dentist can show you these exercises)
  • stress-reduction techniques
  • medicines ranging from over-the-counter medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) to muscle relaxants or antidepressants
  • mouth guards or splints

If you are having symptoms of TMD, such as jaw clicking, jaw popping, jaw pain, ear pain, or difficulty chewing, talk with your dentist or doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.