Who Needs TMJ Treatment? - PDQ® Evaluation
Not everyone who has a clicking or grinding sound from their TMJ needs treatment. There are several measures as to who needs treatment. One of the easiest guides is to use my PDQ® Evaluation. If you do not have one of the three elements of the PDQ® Evaluation, then you probably do not need TMJ treatment.
Pain upon opening your mouth, eating food, swallowing, talking, or yawning
Dysfunction which means an inability to open your mouth fully to normal opening without problems and cannot move your jaw in all directions without hindrance
Quality of life which means that your TMJs are causing you a negative change in your quality of life (your friends make fun of your jaw popping, etc.)
This method actually makes sense. If you have no pain, how can a health care provider relieve your pain? If you have no problem in moving your jaw, how can a health care provider make you move better? If you have no negative change in your quality of life from your TMJs, how can a health care provider improve this?
If you do have some or all of the above PDQ® Evaluation components, then you may need to seek care with a dentist who diagnoses and treats temporomandibular disorders and craniofacial pain. The level of care you will need is generally based upon your severity and complexity of symptoms.
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