If one researches on Temporo mandibular joint disorders (TMD) on the internet, a lot of varied physio-pathologies crop up. Different schools of thoughts are present in the TMJ world. This creates a lot of confusion in the patient’s mind. And this has been the mainstay complaint of 90% of my patients in my 20 years of TMJ/Sleep practice.
One needs to first understand that no problem in this world (be it medical or political) can have just one cause. There would always be a myriad of causes. It’s upto the doctor to first be a good diagnostician to then be a good doctor. Find out all the causes of the pain by being comprehensive with their diagnostic protocols. I generally spend 90 – 120 minutes with each patient to diagnose and then make the patient understand the physiology of their problem.
In my opinion, TMD can very easily be categorised as a syndrome on it’s own. With the plethora of signs and symptoms possible, I have very regularly seen patients being mis-diagnosed and then made dependent on drugs and medicines for a long period of time. It is disappointing to see this happen in a majority of cases. The most common diagnoses of these patients are migraine, fibromyalgia, spondylitis, cervical headaches, MPDS, etc.