The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a sliding hinge that connects your jaw (mandible) to your skull (temporal bone). You have one joint on each side of your jaw. TMD (temporomandibular disorder) occur as a result of dysfunction and/or pain with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw.
The exact cause of a person’s TMD (TMJ disorders) can be difficult to determine without a thorough history and examination. In most cases, the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders is temporary and can be relieved with self-managed care or nonsurgical treatments. Surgery is typically a last resort after conservative measures have failed, but some people with TMJ disorders may benefit from surgical treatments.
TMD can also cause a clicking sound or grating sensation when you open your mouth or chew. But if there’s no pain or limitation of movement associated with your jaw clicking, you probably don’t need treatment for a TMJ disorder.
People with TMD can experience severe pain and discomfort that can be temporary or last for many years. More women than men experience TMD and TMD is seen most commonly in people between the ages of 20 and 40.