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Talking to Your Doctor About Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
- How would I know if my symptoms are due to TMD?
- Is TMD permanent or can it be cured/improved?
- What are risk factors that might make me prone to TMD?
- Is my bite abnormal?
- Could any facial or dental abnormalities be exacerbating my TMD?
- What kinds of treatment can I use to improve my TMD symptoms?
- Are there self-care measures I can use?
Are there medications I can take to ease my discomfort?
- What types should I use?
- For what length of time should I use them?
- Might they interact with any other medications or supplements I’m using?
- Should I be using a mouth appliance to help me stop grinding my teeth and/or clenching my jaw?
- Should I talk with my dentist about fitting a mouth plate or night guard?
- Is surgery ever appropriate?
- What types of symptoms might make surgery an option?
- What research is there that shows surgery to be of benefit in TMD?
- Are there any complementary or alternative treatments for TMD?
- How can I learn to effectively handle stress in my life?
- How can I break my jaw clenching habit?
- Are there other things I can do to lower my stress level?
- Does TMD progress, or can it be stopped with appropriate treatment?
- What complications could I suffer if I’m unable to stop its progression?
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD FAAP
- Review Date: 02/2017
- Update Date: 03/15/2015