TMJ Symptoms

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Doctor's View on TMJ Symptoms

Comment by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

What is temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder?

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a pain condition that is associated with an abnormalilty of one or both of the joints where the jaw bone (mandible) attaches to the skull. Temporomandibular joint disorder is often referred to as TMJ syndrome. The TMJ can cause pain when it is affected by arthritis, dislocation injury, or strain injury such as from eating hard foods.

TMJ symptoms

The symptoms of TMJ syndrome include pain at the sides of the face, popping or clicking of the jaw with opening and closing the mouth, trouble eating, and headaches. There can be tenderness at the temporomandibular joint. With certain forms of TMJ disorder there can be locking of the jaw. Persons who commonly grind their teeth at night or clench their jaw under stress are at risk for developing TMJ disorder. Many persons with TMJ disorder can have difficulty undergoing a dental examination because it is painful to open the mouth widely.

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