Temporomandibular joint disorders, or TMJ disorders, are a category of disorders that affect the muscles and joints of the jaw, causing tenderness and pain in parts of the head, neck and shoulders. Although symptoms can vary from person to person, TMJ disorders can be characterized by one or more of the following:
- Pain or tenderness of the jaw
- Inability to comfortably open the mouth
- Clicking or popping of the jaw joint
- Tooth sensitivity
- Neck, shoulder, or back pain
There can be many causes for TMJ disorders, most of which have in some way led to the straining of the jaw joint, the malalignment of the jaw, or the over-extension of the jaw. Because TMJ disorders are often complex, and can vary significantly from one person to another, a thorough examination must be conducted, and an individualized treatment plan must be developed.