What is TMD?

"TMD" stands for "temporomandibular disorder" and refers to problems related to pain and improper functioning of:

  • Your jaw joints (which are among the most complex joints in the human body)
  • Muscles surrounding your jaw joints
  • Associated structures in your head, neck and face (including but not limited to your teeth)

TMD is a medical problem that is often referred to as "TMJ," an abbreviation for "temporomandibular joint." TMD is often a chronic and frequently degenerative disease. That is why it is important for anyone who is experiencing symptoms - headaches, earaches, dizziness and clicking or popping in the jaw joints - to schedule an appointment for a consultation with a qualified dental specialist. The sooner TMD is accurately diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. Although there is no "cure" for TMD, many patients experience relief of their symptoms shortly after beginning treatment.

Signs & Symptoms

TMD is often called "the great imposter" because TMD signs and TMJ symptoms can mimic dozens of other disorders. Women of child-bearing age are most often affected, but men and children can suffer from TMJ-related pain too.

  • Headaches
  • Jaw joint clicking or popping
  • Facial pain
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Limited ability to open and close your mouth
  • Difficulty eating, chewing or swallowing
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Ear pain/fullness/ringing/congestion