The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is the joint that allows movement between the mandible (jawbone) and the skull. Muscles attached to the skull and jawbone cause the jawbone to move as the mouth is opened and closed.
Problems often involve pain or clicking of this joint. Your dentist will be able to discuss the options available for treatment.
Problems with the function of this joint are common and are referred to as TMJ dysfunction or TMJ disorder. Symptoms include joint pain, clicking or popping of the jaw, limited opening, earaches and headaches.
Factors causing these problems can be grouped into two types: problems linked to the muscles working the joint and problems inside the joint itself. Causes can include increased muscle activity, increased sensitivity to pain, wear and tear to the inside of the joint, certain types of arthritis and injury.