What is TMJ?

TMJ is short for Temporomandibular Joint.  The joint is where your lower jaw meets your skull.  It is held in place by tendons, ligaments and muscles.  There is also a disc in this joint that serves as a cushion.  You can feel your own joint by placing your finger just in front of your ear and opening your mouth.  This joint, like any other in your body, can be damaged and become a source of pain. 


Signs of TMJD (temporomandibular joint disorder):

- Pain or tenderness of the jaw

- Pain or fullness in the are

- Pain in the joint itself

- Difficulty or Pain when chewing

- Aching Facial Pain

- Difficulty opening wide

- Clicking, Popping or grinding sounds in the joint

Possible Causes of TMJ:

- Eroded or displaced disc

- Damage caused by Arthritis

- Injury

Risk Factors of TMJ:

- Arthritis and Other Degenerative Disease

- Jaw Injury

- Clenching or Grinding Teeth

- Connective Tissue Diseases

Treatment Options for TMJ



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Elizabeth Duling, DMD - Owens Cross Roads & Hampton Cove Dentistry - Huntsville, AL