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How do I know if I have a temporomandibular disorder?

Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) might include any one of a number of conditions:
  • Masticatory myalgias
  • Arthritis of the temporomandibular joint associated with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Internal derangement of the articular disc
If you think you may have a TMD, see your dentist or doctor for diagnosis and treatment
If you have frequent headaches, earaches, tender jaw muscles, dull, aching facial pain or feel like your jaw locks or strays to one side when you open your mouth, you could be suffering from TMD. These aches and pains may be related to the jaw joint, called the temporomandibular joint or TMJ, and the muscles that work to move the joint. These painful conditions are called TMD for temporomandibular disorders.

TMD can have many different signs and symptoms that range in severity. Some patients may experience symptoms without any apparent loss of function. To determine how best to treat your condition, a thorough evaluation is recommended. Your dentist may check the joints and muscles for tenderness, clicking, popping or difficulty moving. Your complete medical history may be reviewed, so it's important to keep your dental records up-to-date. Your dentist may take x-rays and may make a model of your teeth to see how your bite fits together. Your dentist may also request specialized x-rays for the TM joints.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.