Managing TMJD

Managing TMJD

TMJD, or temporomandibular joint dysfunction, can be quite the mouthful! An estimated 10 million Americans suffer from TMJD due to hereditary and environmental contributing factors such as posture, hormones, occupation, and stress. Only 5 to 10 percent of those affected seek medical treatment, and on average wait more than 4 years to do so! What can we do? 

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJD):

First, let’s get acquainted with the key players: the temporomandibular joint (the TMJ of TMJD) acts like a hinge to connect your jawbone to your skull. Dysfunctions (the D in TMJD) can cause pain in the joint and surrounding muscles that help it to move. Exact causation may be

difficult to determine because it may be a combination of issues.

Contributing factors may include:

Possible indicators of TMJD include:

Thankfully there are measures you can take to regain your natural movement and decrease pain!

When self-managing you can:

When self-care isn’t enough it is best to seek a clinician to help manage symptoms. Physical Therapy can assist TMJD suffers in restoring the natural movement of the jaw as well as aid in strategies to decrease pain.

Physical Therapy for TMJD may include:

Try PT first! There is no need to live with unnecessary pain! If you experience signs or symptoms, it is best to contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Attend our Demystifying TMJD lecture with PT Lauren Masi July 26 to learn more!

Written by Lauren Masi, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC Physical Therapist & Clinical Services Coordinator at Lafayette Physical Therapy, Inc.

Edited by Julia Slater, BA Community Outreach Coordinator


[Disease and Conditions: TMJ Disorders]. Retrieved from
Harrison, A. L. (2016). Orofacial Pain: Physical Therapy Examination and Intervention. Lecture presented at APTA Combined Sections Meeting, Anaheim.
[The TMJA Association, Ltd.]. Retrieved from
[Temporomandibular Joint Disorder]. (2011). Retrieved from

This article is intended as general health information and is not intended to provide individual specific medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or any other individual. Please consult your doctor or a medical professional before starting or changing a health, fitness, or nutrition program.

Lauren Masi, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC

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