The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a flexible joint that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are in front of each ear. TMJ allows you to move your jaw up and down and side to side. You use these motions to talk, chew, and yawn.
If there are any problems occurring in your jaw and the muscles in your face that controls it, they are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). But people often call them wrongly as TMJ, after the joint.
What causes TMD isn’t known. Dentists believe that their symptoms arise from problems with the muscles of your jaw or with the parts of the joint itself.
Severe pain and discomfort are often caused by TMD. The problem may be temporary or last many years. It may affect on or both sides of your face. Women are more prone to have TMD than men and it’s more common among people aged 20 to 40 years.
Common symptoms include:
TMD can sometimes also cause toothaches, headaches, neck aches, dizziness, earaches, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain, and ringing in the ears.
Most temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are self-limiting and do not get worse. Simple treatment, involving self-care practices, rehabilitation aimed at eliminating muscle spasms, and restoring correct coordination, is all that is required.
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