Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Medical Devices

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction – Overview

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a sliding hinge-like joint that connects the jawbones to the skull. There is one TMJ on each side of the jaw.

Temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) may result in pain in the jaw joint and muscles that control jaw movement. Still, it can also involve pain in the neck and shoulders, headaches, and ear pain.

TMD can be caused by various factors, including factors beyond jaw injury, arthritis, and genetics, such as misalignment of the teeth or jaw, poor posture, stress, or excessive gum chewing.

In most cases, the pain and soreness caused by TMD are temporary and are relieved, usually through self-care or non-surgical treatments.

Surgery and the use of medical devices are considered last-resort options for TMD treatment, and most cases are effectively managed with less invasive treatments.

Symptoms of Temporomandibular Dysfunction

The major signs and symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction usually include:

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

6 Symptoms of Temporomandibular Dysfunction

While a grating sensation or clicking sound can occur in TMD, these symptoms alone, without pain or functional limitation, generally do not require treatment.

However, in case there is no pain or restriction of jaw movement, then you might not need treatment for TMD.

Causes of Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

Normally, film cartilage covers the parts of the bones in the jaw that interact with each other. A small shock-absorbing disc separates the bones and cartilage. This helps the bones to slide and interact smoothly.

However, you can feel the pain of TMD disorder when:

  • The disc erodes/shifts off its natural alignment
  • The cartilage of the joint gets damaged by arthritis
  • The joint may get damaged by an impact or injury

Despite these known causes, sometimes it might not be possible to detect the specific cause of TMD.

Some of the risk factors that may increase the chances of a person developing TMD are:

  • Jaw injury
  • Arthritis – osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Chronic clenching or grinding of teeth
  • Connective tissues may get infected or diseased and affect the temporomandibular joint

Treatments for Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

Some cases of TMD usually get resolved naturally after a while, without the need for treatment. However, if your symptoms persist, then it is highly recommended to consult a doctor. They may recommend different types of TMD treatment, which include:


Apart from other non-surgical treatments, these are some of the medications that may help alleviate the pain caused by TMJ dysfunction:

  • Anti-Inflammatory and Pain Relievers – Anti-inflammatory and pain relievers may include a wider range of medications beyond ibuprofen, and dietary changes are typically recommended based on individual health needs rather than as a standard treatment for TMD.
  • Muscle relaxants – These medications are usually used for a few days or weeks. It helps to relieve the pain caused by TMD through muscle spasms.
  • Tricyclic relaxants – Tricyclic antidepressants may be used in low doses to help manage TMD pain and improve sleep quality.


Some of the non-medication treatments for TMD include:

  • Mouth Guards/Oral Splints – Mouth guards or oral splints can help reduce jaw pain by preventing teeth grinding and clenching, but they should be custom-fitted by a professional to avoid worsening symptoms.
  • Physiotherapy – Apart from exercises to strengthen and stretch jaw muscles, the doctor might prescribe treatments, such as moist heat and ice, along with an ultrasound.
  • Counseling – Counseling and educating can help the patients to understand the behaviors and factors that may increase their pain. This helps them to avoid such factors and prevent pain in the jaw.


In case non-surgical methods are not helpful, the doctor may prescribe any of the below-given surgical or other types of treatment for TMD:

  • Arthrocentesis – Arthrocentesis involves inserting small needles into the joint to irrigate and remove fluid, debris, and inflammatory byproducts, but it primarily aims to relieve pain and improve joint mobility.
  • Arthroscopy – In some cases, arthroscopic surgery can be highly effective in treating TMD dysfunctions of various types. In this, a small thin cannula is inserted into the joint space. Then, an arthroscope is inserted through the cannula. The surgeon/dentist can use tiny surgical instruments attached to the arthroscope to rectify the cause of jaw pain.
  • Open joint surgery – In case your jaw pain is not treated successfully using the above-given treatment methods, then the surgeon can advise you to undergo an open joint surgery. This is especially true if your jaw pain is caused by a structural malfunction in the joint. An arthrotomy (open-joint surgery) is usually advised in such cases. It helps to replace or repair the affected joint. However, this treatment method has more risks than other treatment methods for TMD. Hence, it should be considered after a thorough discussion with your dentist/surgeon.

What are the Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Medical Devices

The use of medical devices for treating TMD, such as total joint replacements, is rare and typically reserved for severe cases not responsive to other treatments. TMD medical devices may be used to improve joint function or relieve pain but replacing the disc or glenoid fossa with a device is not a common practice and is reserved for specific cases.

Some types of devices are designed to replace the complete jaw joint, too. These devices are helpful in restoring functioning in the affected joint by alleviating the pain.

However, there is a chance that a TMD medical device may not be able to treat your condition completely.

These medical devices are designed to restore normal function in your affected jaw, including closing and opening your mouth and chewing.

Still, you must remember that jaw movement is not restored completely with every TMD medical device implantation.

You can be recommended a TMD medical device treatment if other treatment types are unsuccessful, including non-surgical methods. This surgery is usually advised for people who have previously undergone joint reconstruction.


Temporomandibular joint dysfunction medical devices are usually the last resort of treatment. It is mostly recommended when other non-surgical and medication methods fail to treat your condition successfully.

It is strongly advised to ensure that you will not face any adverse effects of an implant.

The dentist/surgeon will initially evaluate your overall health to check for risks before recommending that you get temporomandibular joint dysfunction medical device treatments.

See Also

Top 10 Medical Device Companies

Best Durable Equipment Suppliers

Pharmaceutical Company Grants

Covance Clinical Trials

Medical Device Clinical Trials

Walmart Food Pantry Grants

Grants for Hospitals

Where to Donate Medical Equipment

Current Version
March 10, 2022
Written By
Shubham Grover
May 29, 2023
Medically Reviewed By
Franco Cuevas, MD
March 25, 2024
Updated By
Franco Cuevas, MD

Follow us