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Overview of temporomandibular disorder (TMD)

Tirohanga whānui ki te matenga hononga kauae

Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a group of conditions that affect the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint), chewing muscles of the face and the other structures in this area. It causes pain, difficulty opening your mouth and noises from the jaw such a clicking or clunking.

Some people also experience ear symptoms such as fullness, ringing or sharpness. TMD can also cause headaches.

TMD can be caused by:

Diagnosing TMD

Your doctor or dentist will ask you some questions and examine your jaw.

Tests aren't usually needed to diagnose the condition. It's sensible to have a dental check to make sure a dental problem is not causing the pain. Your doctor or dentist may request an X-ray if they feel you need to see a specialist.

On the next page: Self-care for Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed March 2022.

Page reference: 501101

Review key: HIDRY-74891