How do you evaluate the TMJ?

Video Overview

How do you evaluate the TMJ? We do four basic things. We check your range of motion, how far you can open as well as how far you can bring your lower jaw forward. We test your muscles at the head and neck to see if you have any tender spots to begin with. We then do joint x-rays, checking both the right and left joint. And then we also do a joint evaluation with an instrument that tells me the soft tissue of the joint to check and see if you have any underlying clicks and pops that you're not aware of. We take this information into account because it helps up determine whether or not you can tolerate wearing a mandibular advancement device. In wearing this device all night long, it can take a joint and put it into a different position which can create symptoms that you did not otherwise have before wearing the appliance. So in evaluating the jaw joints to being with, it helps us determine how well you will be able to tolerate it, how far forward we can bring your lower jaw, as well if you have symptoms, we can help manage those.