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)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Pain-Related Temporomandibular Disorder - Current Perspectives and Evidence-Based Management.
- Article: Short-Term Sensorimotor Effects of Experimental Occlusal Interferences on the Wake-Time...
- Article: Headache Attributed to Masticatory Myofascial Pain: Clinical Features and Management...
- 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