The hinge that connects your jaw to the skull is known as the temporomandibular joint. It allows you to move your jaw up and down or side to side. This is the gateway for talking, chewing, or yawning and can be a struggle if this joint has a problem. The issues with your jaw and the muscles in your face that aid it is known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). But, you may hear it referred to as TMJ after the joint. This is the more commonly used name for the condition and can be further described below. 

What Can Cause TMJ?

Dentists alike believe that the causes of TMJ arise from problems with the muscles of your jaw or with the joint itself. Although there is no clear answer as to what causes TMJ, these are the most likely issues due to TMJ. Injury to your jaw, the joint, or the muscles of your head and neck, for example, whiplash, can all be leading causes of TMJ. Other reasons that have led to TMJ include grinding or clenching the teeth, movement of the disc between the ball and socket of the joint, arthritis in the joint, and even stress.

What Are Symptoms of TMJ?

You will be aware of your TMJ as it will most likely cause severe pain and discomfort. What is so uncertain is the time frame for which this occurs. Some have temporary pain, and for others, it may last many years. It can affect one or both sides of your face, making it a dangerous disorder. Common symptoms of TMJ to be aware of include the pain or tenderness in your face, jaw joint area, neck, and shoulders, problems when you try to open your mouth wide if your jaw gets “stuck” or “locked” in the open, or closed-mouth position, clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when you open or close your mouth or chew, feeling tired in your face, trouble chewing, and more. It is crucial to be aware of these symptoms and to see a dentist immediately.

Contact Us Today

If you want to learn more about what may lead to TMJ or what other common symptoms may be, contact us today at Newton Dental Associates. To get started, you can give us a call at  (617) 965 – 0060 or send an email to If this is an urgent matter, please dial 911. We look forward to speaking with you soon.


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