Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), also known as “TMJ”, is a general term covering any disorder causing pain or dysfunction of the jaw joint and surrounding structures. There are a number of conditions that can cause pain both in the jaw joint and the muscles involved in the closing and opening of the jaw. Disorders affecting the temporomandibular joint can affect a person’s ability to eat, speak, swallow, chew, and breathe.
The set of TMJ disorders are commonly divided into three general categories:
Inflammatory joint disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Synovitis- synovial membrane that lines the joint and lubricate it become inflamed and painful
The jaw joint and muscles around it can be affected by myofascial pain. This is a disorder where trigger points and muscle tension, commonly in the neck, back and shoulder areas, cause pain and can refer pain to other areas of the head and face.
Internal derangement of the temporomandibular joint
Displacement or deterioration of the cartilage disc within the joint can cause pain and dysfunction of the joint