Temporomandibular.info
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Dr Stephen J Davies
BDS , M.D.Sc., D.G.D.P.(UK)
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Examination: Joints

Examination: Muscles

Examination of the temporomandibular joint

Tenderness to palpation | Joint sounds | Range of motion

Tenderness to palpation

Pain in or in front of the ear is a common reason for a patient to seek treatment. A tenderness to palpation implies inflammation, generally as a result of acute or chronic trauma.

A finger should be placed in the immediate pre-auricular area, gently applying pressure on the lateral pole/head of the condial while the jaw is closed. The level of pain and discomfort on each side should be assessed and compared.

The little finger should also be placed in the external auditory meatus, and pressure gently applied forwards.


Palpation of lateral aspect


Posterior of lateral aspect