What is TMJ exactly?

Joint in the head. Many refer to TMJ as a disease or illness when in actuality, it is an abbreviation for temporomandibular joint, an anatomical structure in the head located in front of the ear that has several components. We are usually born with two. Tmd or temporomandibular dysfunction is a description that can include a number of abnormalities and problems with the TMJ which may or may not require intervention.
Jaw joint. The jaw joint in front of the ear - temporomandibular joint.
Joint. I agree with all the other doctors and would add that it should not be called as a syndrome anymore. This is due to the fact that in order to be a syndrome any disorder should have at least 3 pathognomonic signs. These are signs that are always present. Tmd does not have that. Temporomandibular disorder or dysfunction is a much more appropriate term.
Anatomy. Tmj refers to the temporomandibular joints, where the upper bone (maxilla- temporal bone) and the lower jaw (mandible) meet and function...The joints. This is a simplistic description and you should look this up on the web for a more definitive anatomical answer. Better terms for symptoms associated with the TMJ mechanism are tmd (temporomandibular dysfunction, ) or TMJ syndrome.
Joint Inflamation. Temporal mandibular joint syndrome is inflammation of the joint where the jaw articulates with the skull in front of the ear. It is a synovial joint and has a capsule and a small cartilage disk inside. Either or both may become inflamed or injured with tough chewing or injury. Nsaid's, softer foods, even chewing, ice or a bite block at night may help. If not better 10-14 days see your doc.
Jaw Dysfunction. Many theories.  jawbone balls sit in temporal mandibular sockets (skull base) before ears.  jawbones shift with use.  i found one-sided masseter (jaw) muscle dominant and palpation pain of muscle leading edge.  at opening jaw shifts from stronger masseter side.  at closure strong-side socket closes first as ball forcefully impacts & wears rim; causing unilateral joint laxity-pain (fr. Quora.Com).
It's a syndrome. Temporomandibulat joint dysfunction (TMJ) encompasses the function of the jaw joints, the muscles, nerves and teeth another term is cmd, or craniomandibular disorder, as all of the structures of the head and neck can be affected. It involves many of the cranial nerves, and is influenced by posture. It is a complex condition that is often misdiagnosed.

Related Questions

My ENT has referred me to a dentist for TMJ. What exactly is the dentist going to do?

Help. Depends on what's causing your joint dysfunction. What your dentist will do is first help you feel better, then try to resolve the cause of your joint malfunction. Go see the dentist and listen carefully to the solutions presented for your individual problem. Read more...
Evaluate the Jaws. Tmj disorders are known as "the great impostor" as the signs and symptoms related to this syndrome mimic many other maladies. By definition, a syndrome cannot be diagnosed by performing any one specific test, only by completion of a comprehensive exam and then correlating the results of the findings to known symptoms. Your jaw joints, the teeth and how they relate to one another and your muscle. Read more...
Depends. Depends on symptoms, and cause of symptoms. 3 signs of TMJ dysfunction: joint noises, joint pain ; limited oral opening. 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. Read more...
TMJ-Dentist. The most common causes of TMJ pain/disfuction are bruxism (chronic teeth grinding and/or clenching) and a bad bite. Another cause is injury to the jaw or face. Symptoms include chronic headaches, migraines, pain in or near the ear, pain on opening, limited opening, noise in the tmj, painful teeth, worn or fractured teeth and fillings. A dentist will evaluate the causes and suggest treatment. Read more...

I went to my neurologist because I have daily headaches, tinnitus and stiff neck. Said I have TMJ. What exactly is TMJ sydrome?

Temporomandibular Jt. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull, which is immediately in front of the ear on each side of your head. Head trauma, whiplash, teeth grinding, arthritis, stress, etc can contribute to temporomandibular disorders (TMD). http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/topics/tmj/tmjdisorders.htm. Read more...
TMJ. TMJ syndrome is a constellation of symptoms such as pain due to inflammation or the joint that moves your jaw. Typically there is report of sharp ear pain especially with chewing or teeth grinding and tenderness on palpation immediately in front of the ear. Tinnitus and stiff neck are not typically associated with TMJ. I would recommend a second opinion with your dentist or ENT. Read more...
Anatomy. Tmj refers to the temporomandibular joints, where the upper bone (maxilla- temporal bone) and the lower jaw (mandible) meet and function...The joints. This is a simplistic description and you should look this up on the web for a more definitive anatomical answer. Better terms for symptoms associated with the TMJ mechanism are tmd (temporomandibular dysfunction, ) or TMJ syndrome. Read more...
Jaw Joint. "TMJ syndrome" is a group of disorders of the jaw joint and surrounding structures. Can be very complex. See a TMJ expert. Any dentist can be a TMJ expert with the proper training and experience. Most commonly, oral surgeons, prosthodontists, and orofacial pain specialists. Ask your MD, your dentist and your dental society for referrals. Read more...