During the physical exam, your doctor or dentist will probably:

  • Listen to and feel your jaw when you open and close your mouth
  • Observe the range of motion in your jaw
  • Press on areas around your jaw to identify sites of pain or discomfort

If your doctor or dentist suspects a problem with your teeth, you may need dental X-rays. A CT scan can provide detailed images of the bones involved in the joint, and MRIs can reveal problems with the joint's disk.

TMJ arthroscopy is sometimes used in the diagnosis of a TMJ disorder. During TMJ arthroscopy, your doctor inserts a small thin tube (cannula) into the joint space, and a small camera (arthroscope) is then inserted to view the area and to help determine a diagnosis.