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tmj pain

Jaw Joint Disorder

jaw joint pain


The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your mandible (lower jaw) to your skull. The joint can be found on both sides of your head in front of your ears. It allows your jaw to open and close, letting you speak and eat.

The abbreviation “TMJ” has also been used to refer to a group of health conditions related to your jaw. However, this is becoming more commonly abbreviated as Trusted Source as “TMD” or “TMJD” to distinguish the temporomandibular joint itself from TMJ disorders.

These disorders can cause:

  • tenderness at the joint

  • facial pain

  • difficulty moving the joint

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research Trusted Source, as many as 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ disorders. They are more common among women than men.

These disorders are treatable, but they have many different possible causes. This can make diagnosis difficult.

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TMJ (Jaw Joint Disorder) Symptoms

Not all TMJ pain ( Jaw joint Disorder) is caused by temporomandibular joint dislocation or deterioration. In many cases, TMJ symptoms can overlap with other injuries. But through a bit of investigative work and expert examination, we can determine if TMJ treatment is necessary. 

Let us know if you’re experiencing any symptoms of:

  • Ear pain

  • Pain on one side of your jaw

  • Popping or clicking noise

  • Difficulty opening your mouth

  • Joint pain

  • Flat, worn teeth

  • Pain when chewing

  • Crooked or misaligned teeth

Common TMJ Causes


Unlike other joints, your temporomandibular joint moves in a variety of directions and thousands of times per day. When the TMJ function is atypical, it can gradually begin to strain the joint as well as the surrounding tissues (muscles, ligaments, etc.). In turn, this scenario can lead to chronic pain, including sharp pain in the ear that comes and goes over time. 

If your teeth and jaws are misaligned, it can directly impact the function of your TMJ, resulting in temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). 

Overuse is another common cause of TMD. Perhaps you clench your teeth tightly throughout the day (due to stress or while you’re concentrating) or have undiagnosed sleep apnoea. Both of these conditions can tense the TMJ excessively, causing the gradual onset of symptoms. 

Additionally, traumatic injuries can be to blame. If you’re involved in a contact sport or were in an automobile accident, trauma to your jaw may have displaced the joint and caused internal damage. 

In some scenarios, it’s also possible for the joint to deteriorate or experience bone-related disease. A CBCT scan can show us the full anatomy of your TMJ for an in-depth assessment and diagnosis of pathology.

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