Talking to Your Doctor About Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
- How would I know if my symptoms are due to TMD?
- Is TMD permanent or can it be cured/improved?
- What are risk factors that might make me prone to TMD?
- Is my bite abnormal?
- Could any facial or dental abnormalities be exacerbating my TMD?
- What kinds of treatment can I use to improve my TMD symptoms?
- Are there self-care measures I can use?
Are there medications I can take to ease my discomfort?
- What types should I use?
- For what length of time should I use them?
- Might they interact with any other medications or supplements I’m using?
- Should I be using a mouth appliance to help me stop grinding my teeth and/or clenching my jaw?
- Should I talk with my dentist about fitting a mouth plate or night guard?
- Is surgery ever appropriate?
- What types of symptoms might make surgery an option?
- What research is there that shows surgery to be of benefit in TMD?
- Are there any complementary or alternative treatments for TMD?
- How can I learn to effectively handle stress in my life?
- How can I break my jaw clenching habit?
- Are there other things I can do to lower my stress level?
- Does TMD progress, or can it be stopped with appropriate treatment?
- What complications could I suffer if I’m unable to stop its progression?
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Dambro MR. Griffith’s 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2006.
Okeson, Jeffrey. Clinical Management of Temporomandibular Disorders and Occlusion. 6th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby 2007.
Siccoli MM. Facial pain: a clinical differential diagnosis. Lancet Neurol. 2006;5:257-267.
TMD/TMJ (temporomandibular disorders). American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.ada.org/. Accessed September 17, 2008.
TMJ. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/tmj.cfm. Accessed September 17, 2008.
TMJ (temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders). National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/TMJ/. Updated August 2008. Accessed September 17, 2008.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014 -
- Update Date: 03/18/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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