What is TMJ Disorder? – Aspen Hill, MD

Making Sense of the Acronyms

“TMJ” and “TMD” are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing! The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is your jaw joint, and any problem that affects this part of the body is called a TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). To make things even more confusing, even though a TMD starts in the jaw, it can often manifest as frequent headaches or migraines. To make sense of all this, we’ve broken down the basics in the short guide below that answers the question, "What is TMJ disorder?" for our Aspen Hill, MD patients. 

Why Choose Exceptional Dentistry Pain & Sleep Solutions for TMJ Disorder Therapy?

  • Custom-Made Oral Appliances for Each Patient
  • Immediate Relief with Botox Injections
  • Dentist with Years of TMD Therapy Experience

What Causes TMJ Disorder (TMD)?

Right now, a definitive cause of TMD is unknown, but a few factors that often precede it include:

  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Sleep apnea
  • Crooked teeth/misaligned bite
  • Injury to the face or jaw
  • Excessive daily stress

What are Common TMD Symptoms?

Woman holding jaw in pain

People suffering from TMD may experience:

  • Jaw pain
  • A jaw that is difficult to open or close
  • A jaw that becomes stuck opening or closing
  • Popping and clicking whenever the jaw moves
  • Frequent headaches/migraines
  • Ear pain
  • Neck pain
  • Facial pain
  • Sleep issues/sleep apnea
  • Problems eating foods that require a lot of chewing
  • Tooth wear due to grinding