Cooper, B.C., Cooper, D.L.: Recognizing Otolaryngologic Symptoms in Patients with Temporomandibular Disorders. The Journal of Craniomandibular Practice: 11(4)260-267, October 1993.
Temporo-mandibular disorders (TMD) afflict millions of men, women and children. Although the management of these disorders has traditionally been the pervue of dentistry, the most common symptoms are otolaryngologic. The involvement of an otolaryngologist was important and necessary in the role of primary diagnostician and as a secondary diagnostician to rule out primary otolaryngologic disease in many of the 2,760 patients evaluated over the past 13 years. In 996 patients referred to the Center for Myofacial Pain/TMJ Therapy from the Otolaryngology Clinic of the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, 85% complained of ear symptoms, including otalgia (64%), dizziness (42%), and muffling (30%). Sixty percent complained of throat symptoms, while headaches were reported by 81%. In 1,764 private patients evaluated for TMD, 53% were seen and/or referred by an otolaryngologist. The dentist and otolaryngologist must act as a team in recognizing and diagnosing TMD. As many of the symptoms of TMD fall within the pervue of the otolaryngologist, he or she must be cognizant of the clinical presentation of TMD. Likewise, dental practitioners must utilize the services of their medical colleagues to rule out primary otolaryngologic disorders in all patients with suspected TMD.