How is TMJ Diagnosed?

By May 8, 2014 August 26th, 2015 Dental Health, Dental Questions, TMJ
Temporomandibular joint disorder, TMJ, is a common issue that affects many of us at one time or another. It is a fairly straightforward condition with some simple solutions, but can cause a lot of discomfort until treated.

TMJ is often misdiagnosed as other things. The main symptoms of headaches, neck pain, muscle pain, limited movement in the jaw or clicking sounds when talking or chewing can also be indicative of others conditions.

That makes professional diagnosis essential. If your dentist doesn’t have experience diagnosing or treating TMJ, it’s important to find one that has. Aesthetic Family Dentistry has that experience. Misdiagnosis is easy and can lead to a prolonging of the condition, so it’s vital to get it right.

Diagnosis of TMJ

Diagnosing TMJ can take a little time because each of the symptoms can be caused by any number of conditions. That’s why it’s important to work with dentists who are qualified and experienced with working with TMJ.

Diagnosis is performed in several ways. Which methods we use depends on the symptoms and the situation. Sometimes, a simple bite alignment check is all that is needed. Occasionally, more thorough testing is necessary. We will discuss this with you at the time.

Diagnosis methods include:

  • Dental exam to check bite alignment
  • Physical check of bone and joint
  • Postural examination to check for skeletal or posture problems
  • X-ray or Low Dose 3D scan
  • Joint vibrational analysis, tomography or electromyography

None of these diagnostic methods are painful, none of them are intrusive. All are designed to isolate a particular element of TMJ to build an accurate picture of whether it is TMJ causing your discomfort or something else.

Home Diagnosis of TMJ

We would always recommend coming to our dental office for a professional diagnosis of TMJ. However there is a quick home test you can perform yourself to see if it is likely you have the condition.

Open your jaw slightly and put a finger over the join between your jawbone and skull just in front of your ear. Open your mouth wider until you can feel the joint move under your fingertip. If the joint makes a sound or is tender where you touch, you may have TMJ.

If this is the case, you should make an appointment with our dentists   as soon as you can so we can diagnose if professionally.

If you’re suffering from muscle pain, jaw pain, neck ache, earache, migraines, headaches, have problems sleeping or your jaw makes clicking sounds when you eat or talk, you may have TMJ. Schedule an appointment with Aesthetic Family Dentistry for professional diagnosis and treatment. It’s the only way to go.

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