Temporomandibular disorders can have many different signs and symptoms that range in severity. Some patients may experience symptoms without any apparent loss of function.

How the Jaw Joints and Muscles Work

The joints and muscles on each side of your jaw help open and close the mouth. These joints move in many different directions. They allow you to chew, talk, and swallow.


The two temporomandibular joints are among the most complex joints in the body. They work together in a delicate balance with muscles, ligaments, cartilage and your jaw bones. When a problem prevents these parts from working together properly, pain may result.

Signs and


• Pain in or around the ear


• Tender jaw muscles


• Clicking or popping noises in the jaw


• difficulty opening or closing the mouth


• pain when yawning or chewing


• Jaw joints that feel as if they are "locked," "stuck" or they "go out"


• Headaches

Several conditions may be associated with TMD. This often makes it difficult to pinpoint the cause of a particular case of TMD.

What Causes


• Injuries to the jaw or head


• Diseases of the muscles or joints, such as arthritis


• Bite Problems (teeth don't fit together properly)


• Stress