The TMJ or Temporomandibular joint is the joint connecting the jaw to the skull. TMD or Temporomandibular Disorder is the dysfunctions of the jaw muscles. Due to its location in front of the ear and at the rear of the mouth, proper function of the TMJ is mainly dependent on the maintenance of healthy teeth.
The etiologic factor causing TMJ pain is mal-occlusion. If untreated, these can lead to further breakdown of the joint and facial structure.
Common symptoms of TMD are: pain while chewing, clicking or popping of the joint, stuffiness or itching, loss of hearing and dizziness in the ear, grinding or clenching of teeth, and pain in the facial muscles, head and neck.
TMJ Disorder can also be the result of the following: excessive stress; whiplash or other head, back or neck trauma; crooked teeth or a deep overbite; the loss of teeth; poor posture; the strain of dental surgery such as poorly fitted dental crowns and dentures. Sometimes a seemingly unrelated injury (shoulder, knee, hip, etc.) can trigger the TMJ.