Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Questions Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

How is TMD diagnosed?

What is the diagnostic procedure for TMD? Are there any risk factors for it?

8 Answers

TMD is a complex issues. Just to be brief, TMD can be caused by degeneration in the joint, subluxation (lock jaw), pain. Signs include wear facets, palpable muscles of mastication, headaches and poor posture (head toward). Clenching, bruxism, trauma, arthritis in the jaw can lead to TMD. CBCT (cone beam), possibly MRI can be used to confirm diagnosis. Initial treatment should be a nightguard with palliative remedies ( warm compress, massage and inti-inflammatory meds) before a more invasive surgery. Hope this helps.
There are many signs to TMD, such as clicking of your jaw, pain upon opening in your joint and face, neck pain, headaches and tension headaches, fractured teeth and flattening of tooth cusps. Each patient presents differently, and we decide whether a hard guard or soft guard would best help the patient.
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This is a good question and I am glad that you recognize the term "TMD". TMD can involve either the joint or the muscles. If it's the muscles than they will be painful to pressure. If it is the joint, you will hear a clicking in mild cases and feel locking in advanced cases. Most people with mild TMD go through life without any significant complications. You really need to be examined by someone who understands TMD and how it is treated.
A clinical exam, in office CT scan and MRI. This will allow differentiation of muscular and joint etiologies for the pain and direct appropriate treatment.
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is diagnosed clinically while you are in the chair and the dentist palpates both sides of your jaw joint as you open and close and guide your jaw into positions of lateral movement much like chewing. During this examination he will listen for crepitus, clicking in the joint, they will also palpate for sore muscles, and look at your teeth for wear for sets which indicate an imbalance of your bite. Diagnostic cast will be made and specific x-rays to highlight the dysplasia involved in the joint itself. Your treatment may involve a night guard, judicious adjustment of your teeth, or combination of mild functional therapy and or surgery if it is Extreme. Remember this problem didn't occur overnight so it is a bit of a garden path to determine the cause.
TMD is diagnosed through a series of clinical as well as radiographic examination findings in conjunction with the patient's described symptoms. Risk factors can include inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, fibromyalgia, and more.
A Dentist can evaluate your possible TMD....There are no risk factors.
Multiple procedure examinations.