Like pain anywhere else, TMD which is of short duration is relatively easily dealt with using simple techniques such as stretching, massage, and soft diet. Pain that has been there past the duration of the original injury, or chronic pain, is more difficult to deal with, will take longer to treat, may not resolve completely, and may require a multidisciplinary team during treatment. Chronic pain becomes entrenched in lifestyle, emotional, and medical issues. These can be considered as factors that are responsible for initiating, predisposing, or perpetuating the pain. The boundaries between these factors are fluid, and different factors may be classified as either initiating, perpetuating or predisposing factors at different stages.
Some of the issues that may lead to the predisposition, initiation or perpetuation of chronic pain include macrotrauma (accidents), microtrauma (tooth grinding or clenching), muscle overload, stress, underlying disease or inflammation, or metabolic, endocrine (suboptimal thyroid function or hypoglycaemia) or nutritional deficiencies (low vit c, B1, B6, B12, and folate). The information in this folder covers many of these issues. You may be asked to visit your general medical practitioner, or a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist or another specialist to have these things assessed. Any changes to your diet, physical regime, and medications should be discussed first with your medical practitioner or the appropriate specialist in the context of your overall health.