• By 1300SMILES Densits
  • May 25, 2022

Do you suffer from headaches, have pain or difficulty chewing? Or maybe you just have a constant stiff or locked jaw?

If so, you may suffer from Temporomandibular joint disorder, otherwise known as TMD. In the following blog we are going to cover what TMD is, the symptoms associated with TMD and how can be treated to improve your day to day life.

“About 60–70 per cent of the general population harbour at least one sign of a temporomandibular disorder (TMD) and yet only about one in four people with signs are actually aware of, or report, any symptoms”. – Australian Dental Association – Dimitroulis, 2018.

 What is Temporomandibular joint disorder?

TMD refers to disorders associated with the Temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The TMJ sits in front of your ears on both sides of your jaw and acts as a hinge that connects your jawbone to your skull, the TMJ is used for basic mouth functionality such as eating and speaking.

TMD is found primarily in people aged between 20 to 40 years old and can be the cause of.

  • Lock Jaw
  • Jaw stiffness 
  • Headaches 
  • Pain in the face, throat, neck shoulders and back
  • Pain while chewing
  • Clicking jaw

TMD can be brought on by a range of things such as.

  • Teeth Grinding
  • Jaw Clenching
  • Facial Injuries
  • Stress & Anxiety

Tmd Pmg Jaw 

What are the symptoms of Temporomandibular joint disorder?

According to Dimitroulis, 2018 the three most common symptoms and causes attributed to TMD are myofascial pain & dysfunction, internal derangement, and osteoarthrosis.

Myofascial pain & dysfunction refers to chronic pain you incur in your jaw and face. This could be something like aching pains in your jaw or pain that persists and gradually increases over time. The most common symptoms associated with Myofascial pain & dysfunction are:

  • Aching pain in your jaw
  • A tender knot in the muscle
  • Trouble sleeping due to pain

Internal derangement otherwise referred to as Temporomandibular joint displacement is where the internal disc has an abnormal relationship with its corresponding disc. The most common symptoms associated with Internal derangement are:

  • Decreased range of movement in your jaw
  • Clicking or popping jaw
  • Pain while chewing food

Osteoarthrosis refers to the degeneration of the jaw, this can be through cartilage deterioration or changes in the bone structure. Osteoarthrosis is developed over time and can lead to pain and dysfunction in functional movements of your jaw. The most common symptoms associated with Osteoarthrosis are:

  • Stiffness or tenderness in the jaw
  • Jaw locking or restricted movement
  • Aches, pains and inflammation in the jaw

How is Temporomandibular joint disorder treated? 

The three most common treatments for TMD are;

  1. Anti-Inflammatory/Pain relievers
  2. Nightguards
  3. Injections

Anti-inflammatory / Pain relievers: 

Anti-inflammatories and pain relievers are one of the most common ways to treat TMD as the anti-inflammatory reduces swelling in your TMJ while the pain relief reduces the other symptoms associated with TMD. By taking anti-inflammatories and pain relievers you will be left with greater jaw functionality and reduced pain. However, in some circumstances, pain can out way the over the counter medication you are taking it is important if that is the case that you see your dentist or doctor for more appropriate medication to treat.


If you wake up in the morning with a saw jaw or headache you may be clenching or grinding your teeth in your sleep without even knowing it. Nightguards are often suggested for TMD patients that are grinders or clinchers, the nightguard is a fitted mouthguard that is designed to stop you from clenching or grinding in your sleep.


In some circumstances, TMD can be treated with injectables such as Botox. This is often a last case scenario once other ventures have been tried and failed. If you suffer from Jaw tension, lockjaw or headaches brought on by teeth grinding, your Dentist will be able to inject the affected area and relax the strained muscle. This can be a longer-term solution to solving your TMD issues.

Injectables Pmg (1)

Hopefully, the above blog has shown you how TMD can affect your everyday life and the treatment options available for you.

If you have any of the above symptoms and want to discuss with us further, you can contact our friendly team on 1300 764 537 or book at any participating practice. Participating practices: ToowoombaCarindaleCammerayRockhamptonBuderimMorayfield and Maleny Dental Centre.

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