page-tmjProblems with the jaw, jaw joint and the facial muscles are called temporomandibular disorders. Many times this disorder is referred to as TMJ. TMJ is actually the acronym for the temporomandibular joint. This joint is the hinge connecting the lower jaw to the bone of the skull. These joints make it possible for many important movements to occur – especially those of talking and eating.

It is sometimes difficult to identify the cause of TMJ. Injury to the area is one cause; however stress, clenching or grinding of the teeth, arthritis or dislocation in the area can also contribute. This condition is most often seen in young adults between the ages of 20 and 40.

Most often, symptoms include pain in the joint or face. However, this pain can sometimes be referred to areas such as the shoulders or neck. Swelling may occur. Clicking or popping sounds may be heard when chewing or opening the mouth. The smooth movements of the jaw are often affected and the ability to open the mouth wide can be limited. Unfortunately, additional conditions may stem from this disorder. Headaches, pain in the neck or shoulder, hearing problems, dizziness and even toothaches may result.