Temporomandibular joint syndrome

Last reviewed: 26 Aug 2022
Last updated: 19 Dec 2019

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • presence of risk factors
  • cyclic pain
  • continuous pain
  • joint noise
  • abnormal mandibular movement
  • masticatory muscle tenderness
More key diagnostic factors

Other diagnostic factors

  • depression or anxiety
  • headache, backache, earache, or neck pain
Other diagnostic factors

Risk factors

  • female sex
  • depression, anxiety, or stress
  • malocclusion
  • age 20 to 40 years
More risk factors

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • no initial test
More 1st investigations to order

Investigations to consider

  • panoramic x-ray
  • ultrasound
  • MRI
  • CT or cone beam CT
More investigations to consider

Treatment algorithm

INITIAL

TMJ pain: at initial presentation

ACUTE

persistent pain after 2 weeks of joint rest

ONGOING

refractory pain or disability: osteoarthritis or internal derangement subtype

Contributors

Authors

Sandra McNeal, MD, DMD

Private Dental Practice

Amsterdam

NY

Disclosures

SM declares that she has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers

William Maixner, DDS, PhD

Professor

Department of Endodontics

University of North Carolina Dental Research Center

Chapel Hill

NC

Disclosures

WM declares that he has no competing interests.

Kamran Ali, BDS, FDS RCS, FCPS, FFDRCSI, MMEd, FHEA

Associate Professor

Clinical Lead in Oral Surgery

Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine & Dentistry

Plymouth

UK

Disclosures

KA declares that he has no competing interests.

  • Differentials

    • Sinusitis
    • Pericoronitis
    • Chronic headache
    More Differentials
  • Guidelines

    • Acquired temporomandibular disorders in infants, children, and adolescents
    • Recommendations for examination, diagnosis, management of patients with temporomandibular disorders and orofacial pain by the general dental practitioner
    More Guidelines
  • Patient leaflets

    Temporomandibular joint syndrome (clicking jaw)

    More Patient leaflets
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