One of the reasons TMJ can be hard to diagnose is that it has so many symptoms that are so diverse. TMJ symptoms that people experience include:
- Jaw pain
- Popping, clicking, or grinding sound in the jaw joint
- Irregular jaw motion
- Locked jaw
- Worn, chipped, or broken teeth
- Headaches (including migraines)
- Face pain
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Ear fullness
- Vertigo or dizziness
- Neck pain
- Tingling or numbness in the fingers
With this wide range of symptoms, it can be hard for doctors to connect your different TMJ symptoms together. In fact, you might not even think to report all your symptoms. People often forget, for example, to mention ear symptoms when they talk to their doctor about headaches. Even if you do report them, your doctor doesn’t always listen.
During your TMJ consultation with Rochester Hills dentist Dr. Wolfe, he will listen to all your symptoms to get a good idea about the type of symptoms you’re experiencing and what this might say about your TMJ. He will then ask about your medical history to get a more complete picture of your illness.
After listening to your description of your symptoms and medical history, Rochester Hills dentist Dr. Wolfe will conduct a physical exam. He will evaluate the alignment of your bite and how your jaw moves. He will then look at the condition of your teeth to see if there are patterns of tooth wear or other damage that might indicate bite problems. He will feel your jawbone, joints, and muscles to find swelling or tenderness. He might feel the joints or muscles while you open and close your jaw to get a better idea about your jaw function. If the physical exam is not conclusive, he might order imaging of your jaw.
Imaging for TMJ Diagnosis
There are several types of imaging that can be helpful in diagnosing TMJ. A sonogram can help clarify the relationship between the components of your jaw joints. An MRI gives great images of the soft tissue of your joint, helping to identify inflammation and other related problems. A CT scan lets us construct the bony tissue of the jaw joint in 3D detail. This helps us identify the exact shape of your jaw joint components and determine if the bones are responsible for joint problems.
Rochester Hills dentist Dr. Wolfe might recommend these or other types of imaging depending on what questions remain about your TMJ after the physical exam.
Get a Positive TMJ Diagnosis in Rochester Hills
If you are tired of having a doctor give you vague answers about your jaw-related symptoms, Dr. Matthew Wolfe can help with a skilled analysis. He can let you know if TMJ is your problem. To learn whether TMJ is causing your symptoms, please call (248) 651-0897 today for an appointment at Signature Dentistry of Rochester.