Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)
When To Call a Doctor
Call your dentist or doctor immediately if you have had an injury to your jaw or face and:
- Your jaw is very painful.
- Your jaw is locked open or shut, or you are unable to move your jaw easily or smoothly (a sign of Reference disc displacement, dislocation, or fracture).
- Your jaw appears to be deformed or swollen.
- There is swelling in the sides of your face.
- Your teeth no longer fit together normally when biting down (malocclusion).
- A severe headache or neck ache strikes suddenly, without apparent cause, or is different from previous headaches.
Call your dentist or doctor if you:
- Have pain when moving your jaw (biting, chewing, swallowing, talking, or yawning) that is not getting better after 2 weeks of home treatment.
- Have had jaw pain for a long time (chronic).
- Have anxiety, stress, or work-related problems caused by your jaw discomfort and pain.
- Continue to have symptoms (such as pain with clicking or cracking sounds or your jaw locks) after 2 weeks of home treatment.
- Notice a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth.
Who to see
Your treatment for temporomandibular disorder (TMD) may involve several different health professionals.
Initial evaluation can be done by a:
- Reference Family medicine doctor Opens New Window or other primary care health professional.
Further diagnosis and treatment may be done by a:
- Dentist who specializes in treating TMDs.
- Physical therapist.
- Facial pain expert.
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Additional treatment may be provided by:
- A Reference mental health professional for stress management.
- A specialist in a Reference chronic pain clinic (often located in a dental school or hospital setting).
- A Reference physical therapist Opens New Window.
- A Reference registered dietitian Opens New Window or nutritionist, particularly if you are unable to eat solid foods.
If a doctor suggests that you try a treatment that might make permanent changes to your jaw, be sure to get a second opinion.
Health and dental insurance plans might not cover diagnosis and treatment. Because some tests and treatments are quite expensive, you may want to check your coverage before incurring expenses.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Reference Making the Most of Your Appointment.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference June 11, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Arden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry