TMD is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joints (TMJs), which are the hinges that connect your lower jaw to your skull, just in front of your ears. These joints allow you to move your jaw up and down and side to side for functions like chewing, talking, and yawning.

TMD itself isn't a single disease, but rather an umbrella term for a group of conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the muscles that control it.

Here are some of the common symptoms of TMD:

  • Pain in the jaw joint, face, neck, or ear
  • Tenderness around the jaw joint
  • Difficulty or pain when chewing, talking, or yawning
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint
  • Limited jaw movement, making it difficult to open your mouth wide.

There are several factors that can contribute to TMD, including:

  • Injury to the jaw, head, or neck
  • Teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism)
  • Arthritis in the TMJ
  • Stress
  • Misalignment of the teeth