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What is TMJ?

TMJ is a contraction for temporomandibular joint. The temporomandibular joint connects the lower jaw to the temporal bone at the side of the skull. This joint is essential to daily jaw functions such as opening and closing your mouth, chewing and speaking. It also enables the jaw to slide forward and backward.

It has become common for people to refer to pain in the temporomandibular joint as "TMJ" ("I have TMJ!"). In fact, TMJ is actually the name of the joint not the pain. Pain in this joint is really called TMD (TemporoMandibular joint Disorder).

What is TMJ Disorder or TMD?

TMJ disorder refers to any given condition that causes the malfunctioning or impairment of opening or closing of the mouth. This condition could be due to overwhelming pressure applied during normal chewing while eating or simply a nervous tic. This damages the structures and their surroundings translating it to acute or chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint . This can result in significant pain in the jaw area, jaw muscles, temporal (side of the head) back, neck frontal area, sinuses area as well as impairment of motor functions.

Factors precipitating TMJ Disorder

There are many factors that put strain on the temporomandibular joint and thereby play a role in causing TMJ disorder. They include the following:

  • accidental trauma of the teeth
  • modification of bite pattern due to recent dental treatment that did not bring the jaw to its original position
  • grinding the teeth or any repetitive jaw movements
  • chewing gum or biting nails

Symptoms associated with TMJ Disorder

TMJ symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Uncomfortable bite
  • Neck/shoulder/back pain
  • Pain of the face
  • Pain of the jaw joint
  • Ear ache
  • Jaw locking

Treatment of TMJ Disorder

At present, there are more than 50 treatments in use ranging from very conservative, reversible therapies to more aggressive, invasive approaches.


To properly treat TMJ disorder there is no replacement for seeing a professional specialist trained to treat TMD, like Dr. Edderai.

We currently incorporate the latest diagnostic equipment and available treatments for the varying causes of TMJ Disorder and would be delighted to discuss them further with you during your consultation.



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