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The goals of treatment for TMD syndrome include:

  • Relief of pain
  • Improve joint function

Most doctors feel strongly that good, careful treatment for TMD should only include techniques that are simple and potentially reversible. Although a variety of treatments have been touted for TMD treatment, most doctors feel the more extreme, complex treatments have not proven helpful in the long term. They also note that some of these treatments, such as surgery, can have long-term negative effects.

Treatment may involve the following:

Surgery is rarely recommended for TMD. If you are advised to have surgery, get a second opinion. If surgery is recommended, carefully research its benefits.

References:

Rigon M, Pereira LM, et al. Arthroscopy for temporomandibular disorders. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 May 11;(5):CD006385.

Siccoli MM. Facial pain: a clinical differential diagnosis. Lancet Neurol. 2006;5:257-267.

TMJ. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/tmj.cfm. Updated December 2010. Accessed April 5, 2013.

TMJ. American Dental Association Mouth Healthy website. Available at: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/tmj.aspx. Accessed April 5, 2013.

TMJ (temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders). National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/TMJ. Updated March 21, 2013. Accessed April 5, 2013.

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated November 27, 2012. Accessed April 5, 2013.

Last reviewed June 2013 by Peter Lucas, MD; Brian Randall, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.