The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the lower jaw to the rest of the skull. The term “TMJ” is often used interchangeably with “TMD,” however the latter actually describes TMJ disorder, which occurs when the jaw joint becomes stressed, misaligned, or injured. TMD may be the result of stress, bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding), arthritis in the TMJ, or trauma to the head, neck, or jaw. You may suffer from TMD if you experience frequent facial or jaw pain. TMJ disorders may also cause: grinding, popping, or clicking sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing your mouth, inability to open your mouth wide to yawn or chew, lockjaw, frequent headaches, and pain in the neck, shoulders, or ears. Our orthodontists can help you determine the cause of your TMJ disorder and recommend appropriate treatment.
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