Living with Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, commonly referred to as TMJ, is a painful condition that affects joints from the jaw and muscles surrounding the mouth. The temporomandibular joint is the object that connects the jawbone to the skull. A crucial joint, it interacts with the bones and muscles within the mouth. From eating, to talking, to singing, when TMJ becomes severe it can cause pain and lead to dysfunction of the muscles, nerves, and bone.

Symptoms of TMJ

The most common symptoms of TMJ are severe pain when opening and closing the mouth, pain while sleeping, popping or clicking of the jaw, limited movement, earache, facial pain, and lockjaw. Common risk factors include grinding or clenching at night, injury or trauma to the bone, arthritis, bite alignment, and gender. TMJ is more common in women than men.


Having the proper diagnosis can be the first step in treatment. Diagnosis can occur through a physical examination and thorough assessment of a patient’s medical history. Imaging such as X-Rays, CT Scans, and MRI’s are all tools that can be carefully used to diagnose and treat TMJ.


Treatment of TMJ includes self-care first. Gentle exercises of the jaw as well as warm compresses and avoiding hard biting can alleviate symptoms. However, these are remedies rather than cures. The only way to diagnose and treat TMJ is to schedule a full consultation with a dental professional. A licensed dentist, specializing in treatment for TMJ can help diagnose the problem and provide treatment options. In many cases, medication and orthodontic treatment can cure the issue. In more severe cases, surgery is needed. Most TMJ can be cured with the right orthodontic procedures. Most treatments may be covered through insurance

If you are living with TMJ or think that you might have symptoms, please contact a dental professional and make an appointment as soon as possible. Without treatment, symptoms will get worse as the condition is degenerative over time.