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TMJ disorder has many symptoms , some of which can mimic other disorders. It has been called "The Great Imposter" by many physicians, and because of this, diagnosis can be difficult. The most common method of diagnosing TMJ disorder (TMJD or TMD) is by visiting a physician and having a physical exam and history performed. The physician or dentist will examine the patient’s face and jaw for pain and tenderness, listen to the joint for noises, check the patient’s bite, and measure how far the jaw can open. The physician will most likely take x-rays of the joints, which will enable him to see the bones and surrounding teeth and make sure that no other problems affecting these structures are causing the symptoms. Sometimes, other tests are ordered, such as CT scans, which are used to view the bony detail of the joint, or MRIs to view the soft tissues of the joint, including the disc. The types of imaging used in TMJ Disorder diagnosis are: Computed Tomography (CT o...
TMJ is short for "Temporomandibular Joint" which is the jaw joint. Each person has two, one in front of each ear. It connects the lower and upper jaw bones and allows the joint to move up and down, forward to back, and side to side. TMJ Disorder , which is also sometimes called "TMJD," "TMJ Syndrome," or just "TMJ," is a poorly defined condition in which many symptoms can affect the joints. Some symptoms of TMJ disorder are pain upon movement, function issues, locking, and other the jaw joint problems. For a longer list of symptoms, please see our TMJ disorder symptom list . Conditions that affect other joints in the body, such as injury, arthritis, ankylosis (fusion), or developmental abnormalities, can also affect the temporomandibular joints. If you have any questions, please Create a SharePost , visit our message board , or ask an expert . Next: TMJ Symptoms
Treatment There is no known "cure" for TMJ disorder , so therapies focus on alleviating pain and improving function. The National Institute of Health recommends that conservative, non-invasive therapies be exhausted before any invasive or surgical treatments are attempted. Many doctors will give you a self-care regimen to do at home that will help with any pain. However, if conservative therapies do not alleviate your pain, or your function is extremely limited, more aggressive treatment may be necessary. Treatment for TMJ disorder can vary depending on what type of doctor is seen. A dentist often focuses on the relationship between your teeth and jaw, to see if a malocclusion (incorrect bite) is contributing to symptoms. He or she might make a splint, which covers and protects your teeth if you grind (brux) at night, helps to guide your bite in the right direction, or attempts to recapture a disc. There are many types of splints, all with different functions. The typ...
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