Your Health

Treatments for Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)

The goals of treatment for TMD syndrome include:

  • Relief of pain
  • Improved joint function

Most doctors feel strongly that good, careful treatment for TMD should only include techniques that are simple, have limited side effects, and do not create further problems if stopped. 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:

Lifestyle changesMedicationsOther treatments

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.

Revision Information

  • 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.