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How are patients evaluated and diagnosed when TMJ problems are suspected?

A complete dental and medical evaluation is often necessary and recommended to evaluate patients with suspected TMJ disorders.   This exam will include a personal and medical history, manual palpation of the joints and muscles associated with the head and neck, examination of the teeth and chewing structures and more.  Damaged jaw joints are suspected when there are popping, clicking, and grating sounds associated with movement of the jaw. Chewing may become painful, and the jaw may lock or not open widely. The teeth may be worn smooth, as well as show a loss of the normal bumps and ridges on the tooth surface. Ear symptoms are very common. Infection of the ear, sinuses, and teeth can be discovered by medical and dental examination. Dental X-rays and computerized tomography (CT) scanning help to define the bony detail of the joint, while magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to analyze soft tissues.

Posted in: TMD