Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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TMJ Pain Evaluation

The evaluation of TMJ disease begins with a history and physical exam.

Physical findings in someone with TMJ disease may include:

  • Tenderness over the temporomandibular joint
  • Swelling of the temporomandibular joint
  • Abnormal motion of the temporomandibular joint:
    • When opening and closing the mouth

Tests are not necessary to make the diagnosis of TMJ disease.

Tests that may be used to evaluate TMJ disease include:
  • Dental x-rays of the teeth and mandible
  • Temporomandibular joint arthrogram:
    • Injection of dye into the joint prior to x-ray
  • Arthroscopy of the TMJ joint
    • A tiny fiberoptic scope is used to examine the inside of the temporomandibular joint
  • MRI scan of the TMJ

Continue to TMJ Pain Treatment

Last Updated: Jan 6, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed TMJ Pain References
  1. Conti PC, Miranda JE, Araujo CR. Relationship between systemic joint laxity, TMJ hypertranslation, and intra-articular disorders. Cranio. 2000 Jul;18(3):192-7. [11202837]
  2. DeFabianis P. Rational and philosophic basis for a functional approach to TMJ fractures in children. Funct Orthod. 2000 Summer;17(3):20-4. [11307192]
  3. Deodato F, Cristiano S, Trusendi R, Giorgetti R. A functional approach to the TMJ disorders. Prog Orthod. 2003;4(2):20-37. English, Italian. [1498579]
  4. Mongini F, Italiano M. TMJ disorders and myogenic facial pain: a discriminative analysis using the McGill Pain Questionnaire. Pain. 2001 Apr;91(3):323-30. [11275390]
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