The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint between your jaw and your skull. It’s flexible to let you talk, yawn, swallow and chew. Sometimes the joint can become irritated and inflamed, which causes the symptoms we call TMJ disorder. These symptoms can include localized pain in the joint, headaches, a “popping” sensation when you chew, or a clicking or grinding sensation.
To diagnose TMJ we check your symptoms and examine the joint and your mouth to determine the cause of the inflammation. Common causes include stress, clenching or grinding teeth, chewing gum, bite misalignment, or crooked teeth.
TMJ treatment focuses on reducing the stress on the joint. Depending on what’s causing the inflammation, treatment might include orthopedic correction, bite appliances to prevent grinding, medication, massage, or stretching.