TMD can often be diagnosed based on your symptoms and an exam.

An exam may be normal or may find:

  • Jaw or muscle pain
  • Muscle spasm at the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds and feelings when you open or close your jaw
  • That the jaw or teeth are not in line or get out of place in the jaw
  • Problems fully opening the mouth

TMD can be staged based on the number of problems and how severe they are.

There are no tests that diagnose TMD. The doctor may take images to help find problems. This can be done with:


Temporomandibular disorders. American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons website. Available at: Accessed July 29, 2019.

Temporomandibular disorders. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated February 20, 2018. Accessed July 29, 2019.

Temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) pain. ENThealth—American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: Updated January 2019. Accessed July 29, 2019.

TMJ. Mouth Healthy—American Dental Association website. Available at: Accessed July 29, 2019.

TMJ (temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders). National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: Accessed July 29, 2019.

Last reviewed June 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD  Last Updated: 10/18/2019