That sounds like an odd question unless you are one of the millions of people who have been shuffled from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what is going on with their weird collection of symptoms. Most patients with TMD/TMJ do not know the symptoms that are ruining their life have anything to do with the temporomandibular joint. Some patients have decades of symptom experience and are left to their own devices to figure it out. Overall, the medical profession is clueless when it comes to TMD/TMJ. The dental profession is better at making the diagnosis, but only when the symptoms actually point to the TMJ. When a patient presents to the dental office and fills out a medical history of a 20 year history of migraine headaches including two separate prescribed medications for those frequent headaches, the dentist will never take the time to press on the temporomandibular joints to see if they are painful, thus indicating the likelihood of TMD/TMJ instead of migraines.
The majority of patients with TMD/TMJ have a history of several, if not most of the well established and well known TMD symptoms. But neither the patient’s physician nor dentist is likely familiar enough with the symptoms to even ask the right questions. So, when a patient presents to a convenient care clinic with chief complaints of headache and dizziness the immediate response is to forward them to the emergency room for a complicated and expensive work up to rule out brain tumor instead of just pressing on the TMJ’s to see if they are painful.
When the patient presents to the convenient care clinic with a chief complaint of ringing in the ear, dizziness, and headache the patient is shuffled of the ENT doctor for a complicated and expensive workup for acoustic neuroma rather than pressing on the TMJ to see if it is painful.
I have seen hundreds of patients who can only open their mouth two thirds of the way and have had their dentist complain for years about them having a small mouth when actually the problem was TMD/TMJ.
The stories about misdiagnosis, and misdirection regarding TMD/TMJ are legend.
I have a handful of patients who on careful history and examination have obviously suffered from TMD/TMJ for 50 years until the correct diagnosis was made.
The well recognized, well established, symptoms can be any combination of the following: headache, earache, neck pain, jaw pain, tinnitus, subjective hearing loss, vertigo, upper back and shoulder tightness and pain, arm/hand/finger tingling and numbness, and various kinds of locking of the jaws.
If you have been run around in circles regarding some of these symptoms, you may have TMD/TMJ.
The diagnosis of TMD/TMJ is easy and simple to make. It’s not complicated. Just a good complete history and a little pressure on the joints.
You are welcome to schedule a consultation if you feel you’ve been running in circles.