Treating TMD

Questions & Answers                            

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Q What is TMD?


Temporomandibular Dysfunction. A term used to describe a disorder of the TMJ's (temporomandibular or jaw joints) and/or the mus-cles that control these joints. It is a collection of symptoms that occur when the jaw joints and/or surround-ing muscles are not working properly.

Symptoms may include:

  • Jaw Clicking or popping
  • Jaw locking or limited motion
  • Jaw pain or stiffness
  • Facial pain
  • Earache
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Tooth/dental pain
  • Headaches, neck or shoulder pain.

Q Will My Insurance Cover Treatment?


Most medical health insurance plans cover treatment for TMD, and we participate in most insurance plans. Please call if you have any insurance questions. What is Northern Star TMD Clinic? A private practice physical therapy clinic specializing in evaluating and treating temporomandibular joint dysfunctions and related conditions. Four physical ther-apists with over 30 years combined experience work closely with area dentists, oral sur-geons, physicians -'=----"----"'---"'~ and behavior a I psychologists in order to provide a comprehensive approach to treatment.

Q What Can Northern Star Therapy Do?


  • A complete evaluation of joint and soft issue involvement followed by patient education regard-ing their specific condition.
  • Develop an individualized treatment plan which is reviewed with each patient.
  • Educate patient regarding contributing factors ancf necessary habit modifications, as well as self care instructions, that will promote healing and long term management.
  • Instruct patients in individualized exercises.
  • Iontophoresis or phonophoresis for inflammation (both are means of transferring topical anti-inflammatories into the TMJ's or surrounding muscles/soft tissue).
  • Joint or soft tissue mobilization, ultrasound or electrical stimulation for reducing muscle spasm or soft tissue tightness and improving range of motion.
  • Relaxation training and biofeedback.
  • When it is determined necessary, we refer patients to their dentist or a dental TMJ specialist, for splints or further evaluation, as well as to behavioral psychologist, when depression, anxiety, stress management or other psychological issues are factors.
  • We also refer to oral surgeons when indicated by exam findings, or when a patient fails to respond to all appropriate conservative measures.
  • We communicate with all referral sources regarding our assessments, treatment plan and patient progress ..
  • Ultimately, our goal is to improve the quality of life for those who suffer from temporomandibular dysfunction.