What is a Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?

Do you have TMJ issues?

Anatomy and disorders of the temporomandibular joint

The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. It is a complex joint as it allows for movement up and down as well as from side to side. The joint is comprised of skull and jaw bones, cartilage cover the skull and jaw bone, tough but mobile articular disc with neurovascular areas and finally muscles of jaw movements.

Injury or damage to this joint is known as temporomandibular joint disorder (shortened to TMJ disorder). You may experience pain, functional dysfunction or both from the condition.

Causes for TMJ disorder are varied and include:

  • Arthritis (disc, cartilage or bone)
  • Injury from trauma
  • Grinding/clenching of teeth
  • Genetic predisposition
  • A combination of the above

What are possible symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder?

It can be difficult to diagnose TMJ disorder, with many of the symptoms attributable to other illnesses.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Earache
  • Pressure and pain behind the eyes
  • Brief restriction of movement of jaw, like locking
  • Pain near the ear upon opening your jaw too far or yawning
  • A toothache, pain in the face, neck and shoulder area

These pains can vary from sharp, electric like which last seconds to constant aching or burning sensation.

Additionally, TMJ disorders can also manifest as stiffness of muscles around the mouth, a clicking, grating or popping noise when the joint moves, as well as teeth wear. If you experience one or several of these symptoms, you may be suffering from a TMJ disorder. 

Supporting people with TMJ disorders 

TMJ Clinics offer an integrated approach to the diagnosis, treatment and management of temporomandibular joint disorders. With a core staff of doctors and oral and maxillofacial surgeons, complemented by access to a range of allied health professionals including chronic pain specialists, physiotherapists and acupuncturists. 

If you’re concerned about a potential TMJ disorder, start a conversation with our office today to discuss an initial consultation. With state-of-the-art clinics in Canberra and Sydney, we make it easy for people across two of Australia’s largest city to quickly and easily access specialist care for their TMJ disorder. Contact reception to arrange an appointment.