Evaluation of the temporomandibular joint1
David Piraino, M.D.
William A. Chilcote, M.D.
James K. O'Donnell, M.D.
Myofacial pain can be caused by a variety of disorders including disorders of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Several imaging procedures provide important information useful in diagnosing TMJ disorders. Transcranial lateral radiographs and tomograms are helpful in evaluating the TMJ space and the bony structures about the TMJ. On plain radiographs, joint-space narrowing, subchondral cysts, and spurs indicate degenerative joint disease. Computed tomography is also helpful in evaluating the bony structures around the TMJ and can be used to diagnose internal TMJ derangements. Arthrography is also used to diagnose internal derangements as well as provide information about the dynamics of TMJ motion.