TMJ disorders are problems with the temporomandibular joint, a hinge-like joint that connects the jawbone to the skull and affects how the bones function. TMJ issues often lead to difficulty chewing and talking. As a result, though the disorders are not lethal, they impact a person's quality of life. If left unchecked, symptoms often worsen and cause chronic problems. Various symptoms can point to problems with the temporomandibular joint.
The most distinctive characteristic of a TMJ disorder is pain in the temporomandibular joint. The sensation most often manifests when a person chews, speaks, or yawns. Some individuals complain that jaw pain is most pronounced in the morning, right after waking. Most people describe a dull, aching throb that comes and goes through the day.
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