Skip to main content

Physical Therapy for Temporomandibular Disorders

Treatment Overview

Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are problems with the muscles and joints that connect your jaw to your skull. The disorders cause pain when you talk, chew, swallow, or yawn. You may feel this pain on one or both sides.

TMDs are often caused by tight jaw muscles. The tightness can be caused by clenching or grinding your teeth. This may happen when you have a lot of stress in your life.

If you lower your stress, you may be able to stop clenching or grinding your teeth. This will help relax your jaw and reduce your pain. Your doctor may suggest a dental splint. Splints can help reduce teeth grinding and clenching.

You may also be able to do some things at home to feel better. But if none of this works, your doctor may prescribe medicine to help relax your muscles and control the pain.


Current as of: August 6, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.


PeaceHealth endeavors to provide comprehensive health care information, however some topics in this database describe services and procedures not offered by our providers or within our facilities because they do not comply with, nor are they condoned by, the ethics policies of our organization.