TMJ, commonly referred to as temporomandibular joint, connects the jaw to the skull, by means of the temporal bones which are found in front of the ears. It acts as like a hinge that allows the jaw to open and close, move up and down or side to side as you perform simple activities like eating, chewing and talking. If the joint or related facial muscles have an issue, one is said to have a temporomandibular disorder or TMD. At times people refer to this condition as TMJ.
There is no particular cause of TMD. There are a lot of theories for the causes of this disorder. Some dentists believe that TMD can be caused by issues related to the jaw muscle or other defective parts of the joint itself. Other reasons that could contribute to TMD include:
Many people can live for years without ever realizing that they have TMD. It’s only when they begin to experience pain and discomfort that they seek medical attention only to realize that the condition has worsened over the years. This disease is common among individuals ages 20 to 40 years. Women are also more prone to TMD than men. The disorder can affect one side of the face or both.
The symptoms of TMD may subside in the absence of any kind of treatment. However, there are many patients who experience symptoms that don’t go away unless they seek any of the following treatment options: