young man suffering from toothache

Orofacial Therapy in Bethesda

Specialized Treatment for TMJ

If you’re feeling discomfort or pain when moving your jaw, there may be a reason for it. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge that connects the jaw to the skull via the temporal bones in front of each ear. It is a very important joint, allowing up, down, and side-to-side motion for talking, eating, and other facial actions.  

A downside to the complexity of this joint is that issues in this area can be destabilizing and difficult to treat. Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) can make everyday life quite complicated and painful, which is why we strive to help sufferers of these issues heal and recover from these disorders. 

Our physical therapists at Bethesda Physiocare® also assess oculomotor, cranial nerve, and vestibular function as part of our comprehensive orofacial therapy program.

Don’t let the pain get to you. Learn more on how you can get quality TMJ therapy by calling our physical therapy clinic in Bethesda at (301) 656-5613.

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How We Evaluate and Treat TMDs

Given that TMDs come in varying complexities and severities (e.g., myofascial pain, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) inflammation, etc.), our clinic utilizes a comprehensive evaluation process to determine the best TMJ therapy process for every patient we receive. 

Once we determine the extent of the TMD, we will recommend a number of treatment methods for the longest-lasting results. These include:

Jaw exercises (for strength, flexibility, and range of motion)

Cranial manual therapy


Oculomotor therapy

Neuro-dynamic mobilizations

Massage/stretching of the surrounding area

If the TMD is severe, we may recommend pairing our services with a specialized dentist, physician, or jaw specialist associated with our physical therapy clinic in Bethesda who may prescribe other options, like a dental splint. However, many of our patients are able to return to normal facial function through TMJ therapy alone.

Young sport woman with toothache
Young woman touching face with hands massaging her jaw isolated on a dark brown background.

Orofacial Therapy Expertise and a Unique Approach

Despite the fact that many people will experience TMJ pain and discomfort in their lifetime, most physical therapists never receive formal education or training for this occurrence. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported funding nearly $1 billion dollars in “pain research” and “chronic pain” research in 2018 to improve clinical results in patients with jaw-related pain.

While other physical therapists and clinicians are catching up with the research, our clinic’s team is trained in orofacial therapy and has intimate knowledge of the TMJ and the surrounding musculature. Dr. Jan Dommerholt, world-renowned physical therapist and President of Bethesda Physiocare®, has become a leader in the field of TMJ therapy, contributing to a number of textbooks, books, and published research in the field. 

Along with our in-house experts, we also work closely with referred physicians, dentists, oral surgeons, ear-nose-and-throat specialists, and orthodontists to determine the best course of action for each patient.

Effective TMJ Treatment from Bethesda Physiocare®

Orofacial therapy is a delicate, specialized field in which our clinic is well-versed in. Clients across the nation have visited our clinic to receive the best special care that our physical therapists provide. 

Contact the Bethesda Physiocare® clinic by calling (301) 656-5613 to learn more about our TMJ therapy and schedule an appointment!