The aim of this qualitative systematic review was to identify the behaviour change techniques most frequently employed in published temporomandibular disorder (TMD) self-management (SM) programmes. The reviewers matched the components of SM programmes into the relevant behaviour change technique domains according to the definitions of the behaviour change taxonomy (version 1). Electronic databases were searched for randomised controlled trials assessing an SM programme for TMD. Manual searches were also conducted for potentially important journals. Eligibility criteria for the review included: the type of study, the participants, the intervention utilised and the comparators/control. Fifteen randomised controlled trials with 554 patients were included in this review. The review concludes a minority of the available behaviour change techniques are currently employed in SM programmes. Other behaviour change techniques should be examined to see whether there is a theoretical underpinning that might support their inclusion in self-management programmes in TMD. Further trials are required to conclude that SM programmes are more effective than no treatment at all and or placebo. With more structured SM programmes, greater therapeutic benefits might be achieved, and certainly if SM programmes published in the literature define their components through use of the behaviour change taxonomy, it would be easier for clinicians to replicate efficacious programmes.