Temporomandibular Joint Disorder


The Temporomandibular joint is located on both sides in front of your ears and connects the mobile mandible (lower joint) to the fixed temporal bone of the skull. This joint is essential as it allows your mouth to open and close, and assists in chewing, speaking and yawning.

TMJ disorders (TMJD or TMD) refer to a group of health problems that affect the jaw joint and muscles that control the jaw. Temporomandibular Joint Disorders are challenging to diagnose and require specialized care considering how complex this joint is. This disorder hampers the day to day functioning of the person suffering from it and patients may experience restricted jaw movement, severe facial pain and stiffness and tenderness at the joints.

Causes of TMJD?

Dentists believe that injury to the joint or muscle of the jaw leads to the development of TMJD.

Other contributory factors include:

  • Arthritis
  • Habitual clenching and grinding of teeth at night while sleeping (bruxism)
  • Stress, which causes clenching
  • Lack of proper, undisturbed sleep
  • Structural jaw problems present since birth.

Symptoms Of TMJ

  • Pain or tenderness in your face and jaw area
  • Stiffness in jaw muscles
  • Difficulty in trying to open your mouth wide
  • Limited movement of the jaw
  • Lock jaw in the open or closed mouth situation
  • Sudden shift in jaw or uncomfortable bite also known as malocclusion
  • Swelling on the side of your face (one side or both)
  • Unusual clicking, popping sounds in the TMJ joint site when eating, talking or trying to open the mouth.
  • Clenching/grinding at night
  • Generalised or localised tooth ache or soreness
  • Persistent headaches or migraines
  • Neck aches and back aches
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Upper shoulder aches
  • Ear aches that spread to the cheeks
  • Pain behind or around the yes, sensitivity to light and blurred vision
  • Constant fatigue and feeling sleepy throughout the day
  • Ringing and buzzing noises in the ears
  • Dizziness or vertigo