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Temporomandibular joint syndrome
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Temporomandibular joint syndrome

Contributors: Casey Silver MD, Benjamin L. Mazer MD, MBA, Michael W. Winter MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome refers to a group of common conditions that cause jaw pain and dysfunction. Etiology is variable, with bruxism, teeth grinding, degenerative joint disease, gouty arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, tumors, ankylosing spondylitis, and head, neck, and jaw injuries all having a causal relationship. Emotional stress and psychiatric conditions are frequent comorbidities. Young adult females are more commonly affected.

Clinical presentation includes unilateral pain surrounding the masticatory muscles, TMJ clicking or popping sounds, limited range of jaw motion, otalgia, odontalgia, tinnitus, and headaches.


M26.629 – Arthralgia of temporomandibular joint, unspecified side

386207004 – Temporomandibular joint-pain-dysfunction syndrome

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Dental abscess
  • Migraine headache
  • Cluster headache
  • Tension-type headache
  • Acute otitis media
  • Sinusitis
  • Gout
  • Calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease
  • Trauma
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Giant cell arteritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Myopathies
  • Lyme disease
  • Medication side effect (eg, Bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw, corticosteroids)

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Last Reviewed:02/24/2019
Last Updated:02/24/2019
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Temporomandibular joint syndrome
A medical illustration showing key findings of Temporomandibular joint syndrome : Headache, Emotional stress or trauma, Jaw pain, Tinnitus, Otalgia, Facial pain, Limited range of motion
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.