Hi, I read your post and just wanted to add a couple of things.
I totally agree with Tina. The main thing is to educate yourself. And, when I was diagnosed, there was no internet...So, educate, educate educate.
Technically, everyone has TMJ. That's the name of the joint. Those of us on the board are diagnosed with disorders of the TMJ. And, yes, it is totally possible to have TMJ disorder with no pain. I did so for 11 years. So, have others.
The main thing is..is to educate yourself. And, by all means, whatever treatment you may do (now and in the future), the key is to stick with non invasive procedures. Moist heat, ice, tens therapy, massage, accupuncture, chiropractic.
I believe it can definitely be managed. And, stress and anxiety can make it worse. Anytime stress or anxiety hits, the muscles in your face tighten up...clenching and bruxism. This is not good for anyone's TMJ.
Try taking up yoga or meditation. This definitely helps relax muscles. And, yes, altering one's diet may seem like a pain; but, it can help. I haven't chewed gum in almost 15 years. Prior to my recent injury, if I wanted an apple, I would cut it up.
It's just about protecting your joint and your muscles.
And, as Tina said, find a doctor who is knowledgeable about TMJ. Not all of them are. Not all of them know what they are doing.
Education is power when it comes to this disorder
For me, my problem has eclipsed to the point where I need a bilateral total joint replacement, at 30yrs old. I say this to just reiterate one point. Stick to non invasive things.