TMD - Jaw and Muscle Dysfunction

Get In Touch

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Why you should call us if you have pain in your jaws, teeth or are getting headaches

TMD stands for temporomandibular dysfunction. It is an umbrella term that encompasses all jaw joint issues and problems with the chewing muscles (muscle spasm, muscle asymmetry, abnormal function, etc). It is extremely common and the pain it causes can often be misdiagnosed as a tooth problem or headache problem.  Our dentists have done extensive further training specifically in the diagnosis, management and treatment of jaw and muscle dysfunction as this is a special interest field of theirs.

As there is no specialty that treats TMD, it is generally treated by dentists, physios and chiropractors who do specific additional courses to add to their base knowledge. Unfortunately, patients often don't seek treatment as they don't know where they should be going... which is completely understandable! Often, it is a combination of health disciplines that gives the best rest. Getting the correct diagnosis is the key to success, which is why we have undertaken so much study and learnt from physiotherapists, oral myologists, pain specialists, ear nose and throat specialists and more. We have a dentist who is also a registered oral myologist to work on getting the muscles functioning properly (think physiotherapy for the jaw and throat muscles).

We also accept that the pain can be caused by the jaw, or the jaws may be a symptom of another issue (for example, lower back issues causing ascending problems) in which case we will work with other health professionals to hopefully treat the true cause.

Causes of Jaw Dysfunction

Trauma to the head/neck/face: anything from whiplash, a hit to the chin, a knock or fall can damage the jaw joints, the muscles will then normally protectively spasm around the joint. The trauma doesn't have to be recent. Once the damage is done, if it is not addressed, it can progress to chronic issues.

Clenching and Grinding: Most people are completely unaware that they clench or grind their teeth. Actually, most people cause the most damage at night when they are asleep. However, there are many signs and symptoms that our trained dentists will look at when we do our assessment, such as craze lines in the teeth, extra bone reinforcement of the jaws, wear of the teeth

Sleep breathing disorders: airway collapse at night will trigger clenching or grinding as it increases your body's ability to maintain airflow. We can help you through the process of investigating this. We can work with your sleep physician to make a treatment plan. We also offer mandibular advancement appliances (MAD) as a treatment for sleep apnoea/upper airway resistance syndrome

Stress, reflux, medications particularly antidepressants and anti-anxiolytics, back and neck pain, chronic pain, airway issues such as mouth breathing, tongue tie, and many more things are also related to TMD


Treatments For TMD Can Include:

What are the symptoms of TMD?

Jaw joint issues

  • Jaw Clicking
  • Inability to open mouth to full range (roughly 3 fingers)
  • Pain on opening or when extending to full range
  • Earache
  • Feeling of pressure inside or in front of the ears

Muscle Issues

  • Headaches
  • Tightness in muscles
  • Dull diffuse ache in top and bottom jaw (can feel like its an ache in the teeth both top and bottom)
  • Soreness when chewing and eating

Acute TMD occurs generally after an accident or trauma to the head and neck region. If there if jaw joint inflammation, it is important that we decompress the joints to give them space to heal and work on an anti-inflammatory protocol. Time is of the essence in this situation, as if you keep squishing your inflammed joint, you can do a lot of permanent damage. Just like with any other joint in your body, if it has been damaged, the treatment is to rest the joint and then slowly bring in functional exercises.

Has been a problem for more than 3 months.
Chronic TMD is harder to treat as there are coping mechanisms or compensations that your body has set up. For example, if one joint has been damaged, the other may be compensating, and you may actually feel the pain in your 'good' joint.  

Contact Us

Nobody wants to get dental treatment. What they want is a solution to a dental problem that they have. That's what we do, we listen to what you want and then work with you on a plan to get you to where you want to be.

Get in touch with our team to find out the best solution for your needs.

Payment Plans Available

No Hidden Fees

Highly Competitive Rates


5 Star Rating On Google!

I enjoyed my first appointment with the ladies At Complete Dental. They greeted me nicely, which helped with first time jitters as I can be quite nervous, but it was really good. I was really fond at how they worked with me, told me what needed to be done, and the steps to be taken in achieving a better smile for myself. I appreciate it so much, and look forward to my next appointment. Cheers

Kamaia Te Mauri Tawhara

Very happy with my visit to Complete Dental, the ladies were lovely and explained everything they were doing along the way, the best part, no pain with my teeth clean!

Samantha Young

Very happy with our first visit to Tamworth Complete Dental. The level of knowledge, care, advice and assistance provided shows they are passionate about dental well being.

Kim Anders

Highly recommend!! Vera and her team are amazing. Will definitely be a returning patient.

Kim Kramer

I have to say without a doubt that Tamworth Complete Dental is the best dentist that I have been to. I am new to the area and was a bit hesitant as I have had a dentist for years in another area. Vera was absolutely amazing! The staff were Very welcoming from the time I entered the building. The lounge was peaceful and relaxing while waiting although I didn’t wait long. The procedure was painless and she made it so easy. I have found my forever dentist.

Kate Gee
Dentist appointment