A member asked:

What is tmj and what causes it to get worse?

8 doctors weighed in across 5 answers

Multiple factors: Temporomandibular dysfunction is an imbalance between the jaw joints, the muscles that control the jaw, and the way the upper and lower teeth mesh. Something amiss in any of these three systems can cause "tmj" pain. It is often brought on by stress or overuse of your jaw, such as in chewing gum, or opening too wide. Treatment would be based on the specific diagnosis of the problem

Answered 2/8/2015


Dr. R Thomas answered

Specializes in Cosmetic Dentistry

TMJ Pain: Tmj is actually just an part of your body. It is your tempromandibular joint. Many use the term to describe facial and joint pain. The correct term is usually myofacial pain disorder. Check out on line neuromuscular dentistry for the best indepth understanding of your pain. It has to do with your teeth and jaw not functioning together as they should. The simplist relief is a "night"guard.

Answered 3/17/2017



TMJ: Tmj stands for temperomandibular joint and when we use that it means some issues with the joints. Could be pain , headache, facial pain or clicking or trouble opening the mouth. Gets worse by overworking of jaw, muscle spasm , anxiety, stress etc.

Answered 8/5/2015


Dr. Jeffrey Bassman answered

Specializes in Dentistry

TMJ analogy- part 2: It can get worse by just functions of the jaw- eating, chewing, yawning, singing, playing a musical instrument, trauma, yelling...Get the picture? Even a slight popping over the years can slowly develop into a locking or limitation of opening or trouble closing the jaw. I would see a dentist or tmj/tmd specialist before it gets worse and becomes much harder to treat.

Answered 2/2/2015


Dr. Louis Gallia answered

Specializes in Surgery - Oral & Maxillofacial

A few things: 3 signs of TMJ dysfunction: joint noises, joint pain & limited oral opening. Worse with clenching/grinding of teeth. Self treat with soft diet, jaw exercises, massage, heat/cold, OTC pain meds. A splint or physical therapy would be next. Occasionally muscle relaxants, biofeedback. Xrays are done for diagnosis. Surgery usually reserved for serious symptoms not responsive to other treatments.

Answered 3/15/2015



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