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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Dr Paul Coceancig

    Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

    I am a specialist oral & maxillofacial surgeon based in Sydney and Newcastle, Australia. I graduated in medicine from the University of Otago, and in … View Profile

    The term “disorder” characterises anything functionally or symptomatically wrong with an organ, structure, or system. Likewise a “disorder” of the Temporomandibular joint is simply a descriptive word, indicating something is wrong with the function, use or structure of the jaw joint… of which there are normally two.
    Temporomandibular joint disorder is not a diagnosis. Merely it is used as a term to say there is something wrong with your jaw joint.
    The next step is of course to find out what is wrong (the diagnosis).
    This process extends to understanding any predisposing conditions that may have lead to the “wrong” developing, how far the “wrong” has extended, what may be aggravating the “wrong”, what can be done do stop the “wrong”, and hopefully what can be done to reverse the “wrong”.
    There are many opinions, controversies, mis-representations, and professional-oriented view points concerning the entity of TMJ disorder.
    For the patient who has a sore jaw joint, it is an intellectual minefield to try to negotiate the language, understand the anatomy, and understand the medical discipline of rheumatology.
    Because of the complexity of diagnosis, and the very real chance that treatments can actually make the jaw joint disorder worse (and not better), expert and specialist care should be sought when you experience jaw joint pain.
    If you wish to find out more about jaw joint pain, or temporomandibular joint disorder, then you should contact an oral & maxillofacial surgeon who is expert in TMJ disease, and TMJ treatments. 

  • 2


    Kerry Read


    Headline Physiotherapy for the Head Neck and Jaw deals specifically with TMJ Facial Pain Headache Migraine and other musculoskeletal issues involving the cranial area. All … View Profile

    All ‘TMJ’ or ‘TMJ disorder’ means, is that you have a problem affecting your jaw joint. Getting a full evaluation of the exact nature of that problem is vital before starting any treatment. There are a myriad of things which can be involved so there is no one approach to treat it.
    If you had a pain in your knee, then ‘You have Knee’ would not be a great diagnosis!

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