Date of Graduation

Fall 2011


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Paul L. Durham


temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD), orthopedic, bruxism, psychophysiologic, MPI-3

Subject Categories



Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) along with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) may be the most prevalent pain disorders, especially among women. Since TMJD affects the trigeminal nerve and has high co-morbidity with migraine headache and sinus headache, it is associated with significant social and economic burdens. Because TMJD tends to have periods of exacerbations and remissions, and displays several subtypes, this disorder presents significant challenges to both clinicians and researchers. This study is an effort to correlate existing methods of diagnosis using scientific methods. There was a significant degree of correlation between the TMJD examination and the Multidimensional Pain Inventory version 3 with 16 of 23 factors being significant. Based on my results, I have developed a shorter, yet accurate TMJD examination. By palpation of muscles in 3 key areas to evaluate symptoms, measuring or assessing 4 signs, and asking 4 history questions, dentists will have a very clear picture of whether or not their patient has jaw joint pathology. This will be beneficial to researchers and practicing clinicians, saving examination time and being more specific.


© Joseph Hunt Kerwin

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