TMJ is the abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint; this joint is what connects your jaw to your skull. TMD is a temporomandibular disorder. This is when you have problems with this joint, your jaw, and the muscles surrounding it. You may find you have pain in your face, jaw, shoulders, and neck, facial swelling, problems when you open our mouth wide, clicking and popping sounds when you move the jaw, trouble chewing and your bite not fitting properly. You can even accidentally ‘lock' your jaw in the open or closed position. All of these symptoms can lead to others such as headaches and earaches, dizziness and ringing in the ears and toothaches.
The symptoms of TMD arise from a myriad of actions that put your jaw under stress. These actions can be grinding or clenching your teeth, or stress which causes jaw tension. Disease such as arthritis can also play a part.
It gets diagnosed through examination and possibly even a full face x-ray. There are home treatments, over the counter medications, traditional treatments or surgery as options to help your jaw regain its strength and normal range of movement without causing pain and discomfort.