Awareness of the Role of Physiotherapy in Temporomandibular Disorders amongst DentistsAwareness of the Role of Physiotherapy in Temporomandibular Disorders amongst Dentists
Keywords:Temporomandibular joint disorders, Dentists, Physiotherapy, Awareness.
Purpose: Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a complex disorder usually characterized by pain,
crepitus and reduced movement which may be caused due to unbalanced activity, muscular spasm, or
overuse of the jaw muscles. Awareness among dentists in and around Mumbai and Navi-Mumbai about PT’s
role for TMD treatment was found to be unknown. Therefore, the study aimed at finding out the awareness
of physiotherapy management of TMD amongst dentists.
Method: This was a cross-sectional study including 100 dentists done over a period of 6 months. The
data was collected from various private setups and hospitals in and around Mumbai and Navi-Mumbai. A
consent form and a self-prepared validated questionnaire was used. The data was statistically analysed and
descriptive analysis was done with the help of pie charts and bar diagrams.
Results: In our study 89% of the dentists considered physiotherapy as a treatment option for TMD. However,
49% of the dentists refer people with TMD to physiotherapists. Fewer dentists were aware that physiotherapy
helps in improving strength and coordination of jaw muscles while greater number of dentists were aware
that physiotherapy also helps in pain relief, relaxation, minimization of stiffness and restoration of normal
mobility and function.
Conclusions: Although a large percentage of dentists that completed the survey were aware of the role of PT
in treating people with TMD, the rate of referral was low. Therefore, there is a need to educate the dentists
about the role of physiotherapy in treating people with TMD, to encourage them to refer people with TMD
and thereby promote multidisciplinary rehabilitation of this complex disorder.
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