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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How is temporomandibular joint disorder diagnosed?

  • 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

    Temporomandibular joint disorder is not a diagnostic entity. It is simply a descriptive term that says you have a disorder of the jaw joint.

    What that disorder is (disease), how that disorder is affecting your ability to chew and live (function), its causes (and aggravators), and the degree of the problem (disease advancement) is all part of the diagnosis.

    The diagnosis is primarily made by an oral & maxillofacial surgeon. OM surgeons use CT scanning, and MRI analysis to understand the hard and soft tissue effects of the primary disease. They can also use blood tests to help support a diagnosis (for instance for rheumatoid arthritis), and by clinical assessment of your  joint function (by assessing the opening and closing functions of the joints).

    As your bite is a major influence on both the development of joint disease, as well as an aggravator for it, your oral & maxillofacial surgeon will also fascilitate the inter-disciplinary care you may also need with a dentist, prosthodontist or orthodontist.

  • 1


    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

    Dr Coceancig makes the excellent point that it is vital to establish exactly what is wrong with your jaw before progressing to ‘TMJ  treatment’. Just like many areas of the body, the part with the problem is not always where the condition began. Seeking expert help can save you a lot of time, suffering and expense.

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