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What is TMJ Disorder?

House Call Doctor has the main causes and treatments for Temporal Mandibular Joint Disorder. Learn how to improve the symptoms of this frustrating condition.

By
Sanaz Majd, MD,
October 31, 2013
Episode #102

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What is TMJ Disorder?

Some of us really enjoy food and dining. Food brings families together around the dinner table every night, and the kitchen is often the center of the household. So what happens when you can’t eat, even if you’re hungry? If you’ve ever experienced intense pain in your jaws while chewing, or an annoying popping or clicking when you open your mouth, you know what I’m referring to. More than likely, you suffer from Temporal Mandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJ. 

TMJ can be severe enough to keep you from participating in one of America’s favorite pastimes – enjoying food. So I’d like to discuss TMJ disorder in today’s episode, and get you back to the dinner table as soon as possible.

What is TMJ?

The temporal mandibular joint is the space in which the jaw bone (mandible) meets the skull at the temporal bone. This joint sits right in front of the ear behind the cheeks. If you place your two fingers at that spot and open and close your mouth, you can feel the TMJ. 

When this joint space, like all other joints in the body, becomes stressed, it can cause some trouble.

What Are the Symptoms of TMJ Disorder?

The TMJ can become problematic when patients start to experience any of the following symptoms:

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