Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) are a set of common musculoskeletal conditions of the masticatory system for which 3.6 to 7.0% of the general population desire treatment.1 Females in their childbearing years are more likely to seek treatment for TMD symptoms.2 Some patients with TMD may only have a single episode, while others may experience TMD with recurring episodes. For a significant minority of individuals, TMD is chronic and persistent. This course provides dentists and dental hygienists with information about TMD, suggested patient history questions, clinical examination criteria, methods of treatment, and methods for helping patients self-manage their TMD pain and symptoms under the guidance of the dental professional.

Over the years this condition has been known by many names, including temporomandibular joint (TMJ), TMJ syndrome, craniofacial pain and others. The most commonly accepted name is TMD. Regardless of the name, there is scientific agreement that muscle disorders are more prevalent than joint disorders in chronic and persistent cases.1