The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to the side of your head. When it works well, it enables you to talk, chew, and yawn. For people with TMJ dysfunction, problems with the joint and muscles around it may cause
- Pain that travels through the face, jaw, or neck
- Stiff jaw muscles
- Limited movement or locking of the jaw
- Painful clicking or popping in the jaw
- A change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together
Jaw pain may go away with little or no treatment. Treatment may include simple things you can do yourself, such as eating soft foods or applying ice packs. It may also include pain medicines or devices to insert in your mouth. In rare cases, you might need surgery.
NIH: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (Academy of General Dentistry)
- TMJ (American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery)
- TMJ (American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons) - PDF
- TMJ Disorders (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- TMJ Disorders (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research) Available in Spanish
- Is It Your Jaw?: A Symptoms Checklist for Temporomandibular Disorders (Columbia University, College of Dental Medicine)
- Panoramic Dental X-Ray (Radiological Society of North America, American College of Radiology) Available in Spanish
- Tooth Problems (American Academy of Family Physicians) Available in Spanish
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: The use of superficial heat for treatment of temporomandibular disorders:...
- Article: Is Arthrocentesis Plus Platelet-Rich Plasma Superior to Arthrocentesis Alone in...
- Article: Myofascial pain: an open study on the pharmacotherapeutic response to...
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- Find a Surgeon (American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons)
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research Available in Spanish
Finance and Policy
- How to Pay for Dental Care (Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives)