The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is the hinge that the jaw depends on to open and close. The joint is crucial to many daily dental activities like chewing, talking, and yawning.
One dental issue that often occurs is “TMD” or TMJ disorders. Many disorders arise from the dysfunction of this joint, bringing severe pain to sufferers. These disorders have lead to the rise of TMD treatment.
Sometimes, TMJ and TMD are used interchangeably. While some people refer to lockjaw as TMJ, lockjaw is actually a disorder. This would make it a TMD.
Although a single cause is not known, it is thought to be the result of problems with the muscle that support and move the joint. Some possible causes include:
- Grinding/clenching teeth
- Arthritis in the jaw
- Stress that brings extreme facial tension