Can I Do a Self-Assessment For TMJ?
Hello, I’m Dr. Mike Gallagher and I am passionately focused on helping people with TMJ/TMD diagnosis and treatment. Are you concerned that you may have TMD/TMJ Disorder? Maybe you’ve recently started to notice that your jaw makes a funny popping sound when you open or close your mouth. Or perhaps you’ve been experiencing some jaw soreness from clenching or grinding your teeth. Your symptoms seem to point in the direction of TMD, but how do you know for sure?
The best way to identify TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) is with a TMJ Assessment. You can start by conducting a self-assessment at home and then following up with a visit to my dental office, Gallagher Dentistry & Facial Pain Center in Eden Prairie. That way, you and I can discuss your symptoms in detail. This will also give me the chance to conduct a thorough examination, which will give you a better idea of your TMJ health.
Our TMJ Self-Assessment Questionnaire
If you are experiencing facial pain, jaw stiffness and/or soreness, chronic headaches, or any other signs of TMD, I highly recommend taking this quick self-assessment. This brief questionnaire may help you gain some insight about your condition and determine whether or not TMJ Disorder could be the underlying cause of your symptoms.
1. Do your jaw joints pop or click when you open or close your mouth?
2. Does your jaw hurt when you open or close your mouth?
3. Does your mouth lock at any position? Do you experience limited range when opening your mouth?
4. Do you have headaches?
5. Do you have facial pain?
6. Do you have earaches and/or ringing in your ears?
7. Do you clench your jaw or grind your teeth?
8. Are your teeth worn, broken, or loose?
9. Do your teeth hurt when you chew?
10. Are your teeth sensitive to hot and/or cold?
11. Are you experiencing neck, shoulder, and/or back pain?
12. Does your jaw get tired when chewing certain foods or during dental appointments?
If you want to print or save this questionnaire, you can download this TMJ Assessment form here from our website:
TMJ/TMD Self-Check Summary
Now that you’ve completed the questionnaire, it’s time to review your answers. Pay attention to any questions where you answered “yes.” These may signify poor TMJ health, also known as TMD. A higher number of “yes” answers indicates a greater risk that TMD may be present. In this case, I urge you to contact my office as soon as possible. That way, you can schedule an appointment for a complimentary consultation with me to discuss your answers. The sooner that I can meet you to diagnose your condition, the sooner you can begin treatment.
TMJ Disorder: Diagnosis & Treatment
Please keep in mind that a self-assessment alone should not be used to diagnose TMJ Disorder. Only an experienced professional can properly diagnose and treat this complicated condition. And while I fully support that our TMJ Self-Assessment is helpful, you may have other symptoms that are not on our assessment. This is because TMJ affects everyone differently.
TMJ Patient Experience & Testimonial
I’d like to briefly share one of my patient’s TMJ experience and how even our helpful at home self-assessment didn’t help reveal all the issues. My patient Glenn had a classic case of TMJ. Glenn was experiencing many of the symptoms common among individuals who have TMD. He felt constant pain on the left side of his face near his jaw. As Glenn’s condition worsened, the pain grew and began to radiate from his left ear all the way down to his lower neck. At times, he felt tingling sensations in his left forearm, torso, and face. However, Glenn didn’t have some of the typical signs of TMJ. He didn’t hear any clicking or popping noises near his jaw. His doctors seemed to think that his jaw functioned correctly. For these reasons, they told him that he wasn’t a good candidate for surgery.
Then, one day the pain moved down his neck to around his throat and he began experiencing difficulty breathing and swallowing. He couldn’t sleep and despite all the medication he was taking, he was in constant pain. This was the breaking point which prompted his visit to my office. I spent the next two days after Glenn’s appointment reviewing his case. I considered his situation carefully and decided he was a good candidate for bite splint therapy. I called him back and invited him to my office so we could discuss next steps for treatment and all the details of the treatment plan I created for him.
Six months later, Glenn’s smile was restored. He was no longer experiencing the terrible facial pain, neck pain, and restricted breathing that drove him to book his first appointment. The tingling in his arms, torso, head, and face had also disappeared. During our last appointment, Glenn seemed like a new person. He laughed and smiled a lot and seemed genuinely at ease. If you want to read the full journey and testimonial about my patient Glenn, click here.
Get Help for TMJ Disorder Today
When you visit my office for your TMJ health exam, I will take every measure possible to ensure an accurate diagnosis. This includes thoroughly examining your mouth, bite, and jaw in order to gain a proper understanding of your condition. Then, after reviewing your medical history and symptoms, I will create a custom treatment plan based on your needs.
If you believe that you may have TMD, please contact my office. I will be happy to provide you with a complimentary consultation and with a TMJ diagnosis, I can provide you with a customized treatment plan to get you back to enjoying life to its fullest again.
About Gallagher Dentistry & Facial Pain Center
Dr. Michael Gallagher and our Eden Prairie Dentistry team are committed to providing exceptional care and empowering our patients with information about their dental health. Please take advantage of Dr. Michael Gallagher’s offer for a free consultation regarding how we can help you. If you have any questions about our services or would like to schedule an appointment, we invite you to give us a call at 952-942-9600 for a complimentary consultation. The outstanding experience of our dental team, Dr. Gallagher, and the skills of our staff have helped us in successfully treating our patient’s oral problems. We welcome patients throughout Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Bloomington, Minnetonka, Edina, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Burnsville, and the Plymouth area. For more information regarding TMJ pain relief techniques, please contact us!