It seems that while TMD is in the jaw it should be something that regular Dr's train to take care of. I was diagnosed with TMD almost 2 decades ago, and since I was 18 I have been to the dentist once (I am 45 now) I hate them, don't take this personally but so much pain going tot hem and I have a real fear about going back. I've always taken good care of my teeth, only 2 cavities. They need a cleaning but considering the length of time they look pretty good, but my TMD is causing me great problems. Clicking has gotten worse, constantly grinding and at night I've had my jaw snap shut like a trap and now my front tooth has a fracture down the middle. My tongue has been bitten so hard when I wake up it's sore, and I am surprised I have not snapped it in half. Headaches, jaw, neck, pain, ears ringing, popping, ear and sinus pain, always stuffy, and ears always feel full. This is on top of my Lupus, DDD, OE, Raynuads, costochondritis. Money is tight as I have been battling for my SSD for 3 1/2 years, but I finally have a hearing on Feb 5th. When I finally have money coming in I will finally go to a dentist, but do I have to start with a regular one or should I just go to one that specializes in TMD or do I have to go to a regular dentist and be referred to a specialist? I'm on all kind of meds for my illnesses, pain meds and muscle relaxers so I'm not too bad off, but this morning when I ate I heard kind of a rice krispie sound, that is new, usually it's a popping sound. I have little lumps in my jaw muscles, probably from spasms. I know I have 3 partially herniated discs in my neck, tendinitis, carpel tunnel (I have hard surgery for that), so you see I am dealing with a lot of ****. I have an appointment with my regular Dr on the 3rd,for my 2 month check up and med refills. I haven't talked to her about the TMD because it's something I figure she can do nothing about. I live in Federal Way Wa, south of Seattle so if anyone can recommend a kind of compassionate dentist that can deal with a dental phobia patient I would appreciate it. Thanks!