TMJ disorder is a common functional disorder that you may hear friends or family discussing. You may even be thinking that this is a problem currently affecting your oral health. While you have likely gathered that it has something to do with your jaws, you may recognize that you’re a bit unsure regarding the specifics. Fortunately, becoming familiar with the essential information will quickly help you more thoroughly understand this treatable oral health issue.
About The TMJs
Your TMJ is your temporomandibular joint. You have one of these joints located on either side of your head – they are the connecting points between your jaw and the rest of your skull. The joints provide motion to your jaw. As a result, you may open your mouth, close your mouth, and shift your jaw from side to side. TMJ disorder can negatively affect your ability to eat and speak comfortably and smoothly.
TMJ disorder (TMD) is a problem that occurs when your jaw joints are no longer working as successfully as they once were. This can occur as the result of a wide variety of potential issues, such as accidental injury, too much stress on your TMJs, and more. If you are suffering from TMD, you may notice one or more of the following:
- Pain or tenderness around your TMJs (this can spread outward, resulting in headaches, shoulder and neck pain, and even back pain)
- Your jaw may make noises, such as popping or cracking, while you eat or speak
- You may experience moments when your jaw “locks” – usually when opening or closing your mouth