TMD: Temporomandibular Joint Disease

TMD:  Temporomandibular Joint Disease
January 4, 2015 | News | No comments

TMD: Temporomandibular Joint Disease


  1. Headache
  2. Jaw ache
  3. Ear ache
  4. Facial muscle soreness
  5. Wearing down of teeth (bruxism causes facets of wear)
  6. Scalloping of the border of the tongue
  7. Sore neck, shoulder, and back muscles
  8. Sore tongue muscles (from bracing the tongue against the teeth)
  9. Limited opening of the jaws
  10. Clicking or popping noises in the jaw joint


Researchers now say that most jaw problems are caused by stress, especially when it manifests itself in teeth clenching and grinding during sleep.

Symptomatic Care

  1. Rest the muscles of the face and jaw
    1. No gum chewing
    2. Eat a soft diet which includes blender softened food, baby food, soups, pastas, cottage cheese, etc.
    3. Do not eat tough meat, raw vegetables, hard pretzels, caramels, bagels, foods that require prolonged chewing.
  2. Moist heat
    1. Prepare a hot moist towel using hot water or a microwave.  CAUTION:  MAKE SURE HOT TOWEL WILL NOT SCALD OR BURN SKIN BEFORE USE.  Apply to painful area for 20 minutes.  Also when taking a shower, direct hot water on the area.
    2. IMPORTANT:  During the first 24-36 hours following an injury, use ice only.
  3. Disengagement – keep teeth apart
    1. It is important to keep the teeth apart except when swallowing or eating.  You must make a conscious effort to separate the teeth and relax the muscles of the face and jaw.
    2. Wear your splint all the time or at least during sleep.
  4. Medication
    1. With food in your stomach, take 2 Advil (ibuprofen name brand or generic are ok), or Aleve.  NSAID:  Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drug.  Take as directed on the container.
    2. As prescribed by the dentist for muscle spasms, pain.
  5. Get a good night’s sleep
    1. Bruxing or griding occurs in REM sleep (light or dream sleep levels).  During deep sleep there is very little bruxing or clenching, and therefore less pain in the morning.  A hot shower or bath and ibuprofen before bedtime may help.  Forget your worries and get a good night’s sleep.

Contact Dr. Spamer’s team to take care of your TMD issues!

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