The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint between your lower jaw and the base of your skull. There is a joint on each side of your head, located just in front of your ears. TMJ and muscle disorders are problems or symptoms of this joint and the muscles of your head and neck. Many TMJ related symptoms are caused by the effects of physical stress on the structures in and around the joint. These include the joint disc cartilage, the muscles of the head, face and neck, surrounding neurovasculature, ligaments, and teeth.
Symptoms of TMJ disorders may manifest in any of the following ways:
- Difficulty or discomfort when chewing or jaw aches
- Clicking, poping or grating noises when opening or closing the mouth
In the majority of people who are afflicted with TMJ disorders, the cause remains unclear, however there have been some causes provided for this problem, and they include, bruxism, orthodontic problems and/or muscle spasms in the head/neck region.