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The Detection and Management of Temporomandibular Disorders in Primary Dental Care

Course Number: 395


TMD are common, more prevalent in women, and are conditions that dentists and dental hygienists are likely to encounter in everyday clinical practice. TMD can be caused or exacerbated by physical changes, stress and parafunctional jaw habits. TMD includes a constellation of symptoms, of which pain is the most common. Other symptoms include joint sounds, TMJ catching, limited jaw opening and deviation on opening. A brief screening history regarding pain and activities that make the pain worse can help determine if a patient has a potential TMD problem. A clinical examination that incorporates an assessment of pain and joint sounds on opening and excursive movements is recommended. The examination should also include palpations of the muscles of mastication and the TMJ, and findings from the clinical examination are used to determine the diagnoses. Dental professional recommended conservative and reversible self-management treatment strategies are beneficial for most patients, with very few patients requiring non-reversible treatment.