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To analyze the steps used in evaluation of sports- related temporomandibular dysfunctions and make recommendation for treatment and referral based upon the evaluation findings.
This review searched Cinahl (1982 to 1995) and Medline (1986 to 1995). Key words searched included “sports related temporomandibular dysfunction,” “temporomandibular dysfunction,” and “temporomandibular joint.”
This paper provides an introduction to the anatomy and biomechanics of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) as well as causes of temporomandibular disorders in athletes. An analysis of the evaluative steps used for the temporomandibular joint is also given. Findings that suggest specific temporomandibular dysfunctions are discussed.
Recommendations about when dental consultation is most appropriate or if conservative treatment is indicated are included. Hopefully, this will provide the sports medicine practitioner with a better understanding of the joint and its dysfunctions, as well as eliminate some unnecessary and costly dental referrals for our athletes.