Temporomandibular Joint Disorders - Diagnosis

TMJ is most commonly diagnosed by a dentist. The dentist can often tell simply by touching a patient's face if the temporomandibular joint is out of place. Manipulation of the jaw provides additional information. It may be possible to see that the patient's teeth do not close together properly. Looseness in the jaw may indicate hypermobility as well.

Imaging Studies

Imaging studies are used to obtain pictures of the interior of a person's body. X rays are probably the best-known form of imaging studies. In most cases, imaging studies are not very helpful in diagnosing TMJ because the temporomandibular joint will look normal in such studies. Arthrography (pronounced arr-THRAHG-ruh-fee) is one form of imaging that can be useful, however. In arthrography, a dye is injected into the patient's temporomandibular joint. The joint is then observed while being X-rayed. Any abnormal movement of the jaw can be observed by this method.

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