TMJ Disorder: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 11/3/2020

TMJ disorder refers to temporomandibular joint disorder, a condition that causes pain and stiffness in the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull. TMJ disorder may also be referred to as temporomandibular joint syndrome.

Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder include

  • jaw pain or tenderness,
  • pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints,
  • aching pain in and around the ear, and
  • difficulty chewing or pain while chewing.

Opening and closing the mouth may be painful. Other associated symptoms can include

  • headache,
  • popping or clicking sounds in the jaw,
  • pain in the temple area,
  • ear pain, and
  • sore jaw muscles.

Causes of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)

Causes of TMJ disorder can include

  • injury to the teeth or jaw,
  • misalignment of the teeth or jaw,
  • tooth grinding or clenching,
  • poor posture,
  • arthritis conditions,
  • stress, and
  • gum chewing.

Other tmj disorder symptoms and signs

  • Arthritis Conditions
  • Ear Pain
  • Gum Chewing
  • Headache
  • Injury to the Teeth or Jaw
  • Misalignment of the Teeth or Jaw
  • Pain in the Temple Area
  • Painful Opening and Closing of the Mouth
  • Poor Posture
  • Popping or Clicking Sounds in the Jaw
  • Sore Jaw Muscles
  • Stress
  • Tooth Grinding or Clenching


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.