Patient History

A very brief screening questionnaire, such as the one below can help the clinician determine if a patient has a potential TMD problem.6 This questionnaire can help identify dental patients who are at risk of exacerbating their pre-existing pain from dental treatment.7

Table 2. TMD Screening Questionnaire.
  1. In the last 30 days, on average, how long did any pain in your jaw or temple on either side last?
    1. No pain
    2. From very brief to more than a week, but it does stop
    3. Continuous

  2. In the last 30 days, have you had pain or stiffness in your jaw on awakening?
    1. No
    2. Yes

  3. In the last 30 days, did the following activities change any pain (that is, make it better or make it worse) in your jaw or temple area on either side?
    1. Chewing hard or tough food:
      1. No
      2. Yes
    2. Opening your mouth or moving your jaw forward or to the side:
      1. No
      2. Yes
    3. Jaw habits such as holding teeth together, clenching, grinding or chewing gum:
      1. No
      2. Yes
    4. Other jaw activities such as talking, kissing or yawning:
      1. No
      2. Yes
This brief screening questionnaire includes an assessment of pain, morning stiffness/pain, and whether specific jaw activities change the pain.  Positive responses may warrant additional questions.  There are numerous questions and questionnaires that have been recommended to elicit the TMD symptom history; they vary from brief to lengthy and many are available via the internet.