top of page


​“TMJ” is a catch-all phrase that is often used to describe many different symptoms related to the temporomandibular joint. It is better thought of as TM-D for a temporomandibular disorder, of which there are many. It would take pages to describe all of the various disorders, but some common symptoms are:

  • Pain in the jaw or ear when eating

  • Limitation or restriction of opening the mouth

  • Feeling of locking or hyperextension of the jaw (especially when yawning or opening wide)

  • Clenching or grinding of teeth

  • Difficulty biting or chewing through food

  • Headaches

  • Popping or clicking in front of the ear with jaw movement

  • Tension in the jaw muscles

  • A need to shift the jaw around to find a comfortable position

  • Neck pain

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a very complex structure and is made up of the mandible (lower jaw) and the base of the skull (temporal bone). The mandible rotates and slides against the temporal bone to open the mouth, chew, speak, and perform many other functions that are necessary for life. It is a delicate balance between the tissues of the joint itself and the muscles and ligaments that allow the joint to move. A very large part of the brain is dedicated to how the joint functions.

Many different problems or diseases can impact the joint. Most commonly, there is a muscular problem in which the jaw muscles are overactive and therefore cause muscle cramps. These cramps lead to pain, injury to the muscle, and decreased function. The cause is related to many factors and ultimately can lead to issues in the joint itself. The joint itself can have arthritis or inflammation that causes pain or alters the movement of the joint.

Click Here

bottom of page