What Is TMJ Disorder?

what is tmj disorderMost dental health issues, like tooth decay and gum disease, occur in stages, and treatment depends on the stage that your condition is in. Likewise, TMJ disorder can develop to varying degrees, but it can also describe more than one specific condition. Any issue that involves damage, inflammation, dislocation, or misalignment in your jaw’s joints and/or the muscles around them might be classified as a TMJ disorder (which refers to the acronym for your jaw’s joints, TMJs). Knowing what TMJ disorder is can help you recognize the signs that something is wrong, and seek appropriate treatment before it progresses and becomes more difficult to treat.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, and typically, your jaw is powered by two of the gliding-hinge joints on either side of your skull. Because they’re the hinge that your moves upon, some of the most common signs of trouble with your TMJs include problems with mouth movement, such as painful, sore, and/or locking jaw joints. Other typical symptoms of TMJ disorder might include;

  • Chronic, severe headaches
  • Sore muscles in the face, neck, and shoulders
  • Popping and clicking noises when you move your jaw
  • Habitual teeth-grinding (also known as bruxism)

Are You Likely to Have a TMJ Disorder?

The causes of TMJ disorder are as diverse as the symptoms, making an accurate diagnosis sometimes difficult. However, some dental conditions can make you more likely to develop problems with your TMJs, especially if those conditions lead to increased pressure on your jaw. You should schedule an assessment as soon as possible if you exhibit jaw discomfort, or any of the likely risk factors of TMJ disorder, such as;

  • An uneven jawbone (often a congenital condition that requires jawbone surgery to correct)
  • Malocclusion (crooked teeth)
  • Missing teeth (which can throw your bite off-balance)
  • An injury to the mouth or jaw
  • Arthritis in one or both of your jaw joints


To learn more, schedule an appointment with Dr. Newton at Celina Family Dentistry by calling (214) 851-0130. Located in the 75009 area, we serve patients of all ages from Celina, Prosper, McKinney, Frisco, Anna, Pilot Point, and the surrounding areas.