Because there are several forms of TMD, as well as a host of other conditions that can cause pain in the TMJ area, it is important to work with your dentist to determine whether you have TMD and what the underlying cause or causes may be. The first step is for your dentist to take a detailed dental and medical history, being careful to note any symptoms, chronic illnesses, injuries to the TMJ area, and medications you are taking. Next, your dentist will perform a comprehensive exam of your head and neck, paying particular attention to the jaw muscles and joints. To rule out other potential issues, your dentist may recommend a screening X-ray during your initial visit. At this point, your dentist should be able to recommend an initial treatment plan in most cases. For patients who have more complex forms of TMD, we may refer you to a specialist for a more targeted treatment.
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