Temporomandibular Joint disorder (TMJ/TMD) can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement. It can also lead to headaches.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge joint that also does sliding motions to allow for effective chewing. The bony joint surfaces are covered with cartilage and are separated by a small shock-absorbing disk, which normally keeps the movement smooth.
Sometimes the disc can move out of alignment or erode, the cartilage can become damaged with wear and tear or the joint will be damaged by trauma. When this happens TMD can result. In a lot of cases the cause of TMD is unclear.
Symptoms of TMD include:
- Jaw Pain or tenderness
- Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints
- Ear pain
- Facial pain
- Difficulty chewing or pain whilst chewing
- Locking or clicking of the joint that is painful or makes it difficult to open or close your mouth