What are TMJ/TMD Disorders? (Part III)
Diagnosis of TMJ/TMD
TMJ/TMD has similar symptoms to other dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease etc. To accurately diagnose, TMJ/TMD, the dentist will perform a physical examination. This examination involves observing for pain and tenderness in the jaw joints and listening for clicking, popping or grating sounds during jaw movement. The dentist will also check whether the jaws work as they should, whether or not the jaws get locked and whether there are any problems with the bite.
After the physical examination, the dentist will proceed to perform clinical diagnostics such as x-rays, MRI and CT scans to rule out other problems. The MRI scan reveals whether TMJ disc is in the correct position during jaw movement and the CT scan reveals the bony detail of the joint. The dentist may also refer the patient to other dental specialists such as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for further care and treatment. The oral surgeon possesses expertise in surgery for the face, mouth and jaw area. The dentist may also refer the patient to an orthodontist.