The Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ) is a common source of Jaw Pain. The temporal mandibular (tem-puh-roe-mun-DIB-u-lur) joint (TMJ) acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull and giving you the ability to chew. The TMJ is considered to be one of the most complex joints in the body.Several different medical conditions or factors have been identified as potential contributors to a TMD:
- Injury to the jaw
- Wear and Tear of the joint
- Clenching or grinding of the teeth
- Poor alignment of the jaw or teeth
- Dental appliances
Although the exact cause of TMJ Pain can be difficult to determine, in most cases the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders can be alleviated with self-managed care or nonsurgical treatments.
- Pain in and around the jaw muscles or TMJ
- Discomfort or difficulty while chewing
- Aching pain in the facial area
- Locking of the jaw, difficulty and/or pain while opening the mouth
TMJ Disorders may occur at any age, but are most common in women between the ages of 20 to 40.
TMD symptoms like TMJ pain may sometimes resolve over time on their own. Severe TMJ disorders may require surgical repair, sometimes with complete replacement of the TMJ. However, many patients find relief through effective use of medication, injections, and/or oral appliances.