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Facial Pain/Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ) Program

At Central Vermont Medical Center our Physical Therapists provide a variety of treatments and education for patients with Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD).

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Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or “TMJD”, also referred to as TMJ, is a common condition with symptoms of clicking or popping of the jaw, frequent headaches, ringing in the ears, dizziness, and difficulty smiling or swallowing. The American Academy of Orofacial Pain estimates that 3 out 4 people in the United States have some form of TMJD.

Diagnosis and Treatment

TMJD can occur as a result from trauma, tooth-grinding, jaw-clenching, stress, and misalignment of teeth. Signs and symptoms of TMJD may include the following:

  • Clicking and popping of the jaw
  • Jaw pain     
  • Abnormal jaw opening
  • Jaw locking
  • Headache
  • Earache
  • Neck ache

Treatment options may include the following:

  • Patient education of TMJD
  • Restoring the range of motion of TMJ
  • Soft tissue mobilization to orofacial muscles
  • Joint mobilizations
  • Modalities such as Ultrasound and Iontophoresis
  • Self-relaxation techniques
  • Education of lifestyle modification regarding diet