Temporomandibular dysfunction includes a wide range of disorders that often overlap. They include:
Muscle problems that affect jaw movement
Pain in the face around the jaw joint
Problems within the joint itself
This variety makes diagnosis and treatment challenging. An accurate diagnosis is critical for successful treatment.
For instance, patients with a muscle problem that is causing pain will most likely not benefit from surgery on the temporomandibular joint.
Most problems, whether muscular or within the joint, get better over time. For this reason, most experts agree that it's best to use conservative treatment at first. But in some instances, surgery or other procedures, such as injections, may be recommended as a first treatment.
Most people with TMJ disorders have temporary symptoms that are not serious and do not get worse. They usually can get better with simple treatments done with a dentist.