TMJ generally refers to problems with your “temporomandibular joint,” but a TMJ is technically a hinge connecting the jaw to the temporal bones of the skull. The hinge allows the jaw to move side to side and up and down. Yawning, talking, or chewing would be impossible without the temporomandibular joint.
Since the TMJ is the actual joint, problems with the TMJ should more appropriately be called TMD (temporomandibular disorder).
TMD is a condition that causes severe discomfort and pain in the jaw. It can be a temporary condition or last for years. It can affect one side of the face or both. It is common between the ages of 20 to 40 and is more common in women than men.
TMD can be caused by many different things, including stress, arthritis, or clenching (grinding) of the teeth.
Some symptoms that might be caused by TMD:
Jaw popping while chewing or talking (painful or nonpainful)
Face, jaw, shoulder, or neck pain when moving the jaw
A tired feeling in the face
Swelling in the cheek and jaw areas
The feeling that the upper and lower teeth arches do not fit together correctly
Problems opening the mouth
The jaw being locked in the open or closed position
If you experience persistent tenderness or tenderness or cannot fully open or close your mouth, call the office at 715-386-9711 to see Dr. Kell immediately.