The understanding and also management of pain related to temporomandibular disorders has seen an important paradigm-shift during the last decade : with regard to pain, the importance of the interaction between psychosocial characteristics and mechanisms as disturbed pain modulation/amplification have been documented. Consequently, also in the management of TMD-problems, the approach has changed form a mechanistic to a more behavioral approach in order to have results on the long term.
An important step in successful management is the restoration of a good balance between resistance and loading of the jaw system (and maybe the whole body), which in clinical practice is translated into control of tooth clenching during the day, self-care and so on.
In addition to the coaching and counselling aspect, we have to realize the beneficial effects of mechanisms that used to be classified as “placebo” since also here it is apparent that these effects can approach the effects of other mode of treatment.
The presentation will focus on these aspects to explain that “placebo” is not “placebo”, and will illustrate how our daily approach to patients these beneficial techniques may be better understood and applied.