Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ or TMD), are a collection of conditions characterized by pain in the jaw and surrounding tissues and limitations in jaw movements. Injury and conditions that routinely affect other joints in the body, such as arthritis, also affect the temporomandibular joint. One or both joints may be affected in people with TMD, which can affect a person’s ability to speak, eat, chew, swallow, make facial expressions, and even breathe.
TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TM joint. Or, you may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking, or grating noises when you open your mouth, or trouble opening your mouth wide.