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10 Signs You Could Have A TMJ Disorder

Your temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are in front of each ear. It lets you move your jaw up and down and side to side, so you can talk, chew, and yawn.

Problems with your jaw and the muscles in your face that control it are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). But you may hear it more commonly called TMJ, after the joint.

Do I have TMJ?

TMJ often causes severe pain and discomfort. It can be temporary or last many years. It might affect one or both sides of your face. More women than men have it, and it’s most common among people between the ages of 20 and 40.



  • Do you have pain or tenderness in your face, jaw joint area, neck, and shoulders?
  • Do you have pain in the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide?
  • Do you have issues or problems when you try to open your mouth wide?
  • Does your jaw get “stuck” or “lock” in the open- or closed-mouth position?
  • Do you have clicking, popping or grating sounds in the jaw joint when you open or close your mouth or chew?
  • Does your face feel tired?
  • Do you have trouble chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite — as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly?
  • Do you have swelling on the side of your face?
  • Do you get toothaches?
  • Do you get headaches, neck aches? Do you experience dizziness, earaches, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus)?

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