Open Access

Physiotherapy role in diseases of the temporomandibular joint


BACKGROUND. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders represent a group of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders, which can involve both the temporomandibular joint complex and the muscle and bone components in the immediate vicinity. The etiology is multifactorial and includes biological, environmental, social, emotional and cognitive triggers. Thus, there is no treatment of choice for this pathology. Physiotherapy is beginning to occupy an important place within the adjuvant therapies used in TMJ dysfunctions.

OBJECTIVE. The current study aimed to evaluate the degree of awareness of TMJ dysfunction and, implicitly, the need for treatment, the level of knowledge of the role of physiotherapy in this regard, as well as the interdisciplinary collaboration between dentist and physical medicine rehabilitation doctor in terms of TMJ pathology.

MATERIAL AND METHODS. We carried out a prospective study, based on a questionnaire made in the Google Forms platform. The questionnaire consisted of 26 questions in which socio-economic elements were addressed, as well as medical elements of symptomatology, diagnosis and dental and physiotherapy medical history.

RESULTS. Analysing the results, we identified that among the people presenting at least one symptom associated with TMJ disorders, only 32.6% went to the dentist, while 47.9%, did not present themselves because they did not consider the symptoms to be taken into account. Only one respondent (1.6%) was recommended physiotherapy as a treatment option for TMJ disorder by the dentist. The other 61 people (98.4%) denied receiving this recommendation.

CONSLUSION. The study confirms the minimum degree of awareness of TMJ dysfunction and implicitly of the need for treatment among the general population. Also, the level of knowledge about the diagnosis and treatment of temporomandibular joint dysfunctions among dentists is insufficient.