Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) has many similarities to musculoskeletal disorders of other parts of the body, and therapeutic approaches for other musculoskeletal disorders generally apply to this disorder as well. Most commonly used medications for TMD problems include pain killers, muscle relaxants, which merely subside the symptoms. Reduction of the symptoms mostly is understood as recovery from the problem, but it is just the postponement of the progression. Similar to other repetitive motion disorders, TMD self-management instructions routinely encourage patients to rest their masticatory muscles by voluntarily limiting their use, i.e., avoiding hard or chewy foods and restraining from activities that overuse the masticatory muscles (e.g., oral habits, clenching teeth, holding tension in the masticatory muscles, chewing gum, and yawning wide)
A therapy that is commonly provided by dentists is called as a dental or occlusal appliance or a splint. The appliance can be made to cover the occlusal surfaces of maxillary or mandibular teeth and can be fabricated from many different materials, giving it a hard, soft, or intermediate feel. It is generally preferred that the appliance be worn only at night and possibly a few hours during the day. If the appliance is worn at night, it has its most dramatic effect on the TMD symptoms that patients have upon awaking. Therefore, a splint can be fabricated primarily to relieve symptoms in patients who have TMD symptoms.