Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) are a group of complex problems related to the jaw joint. These conditions may be the result of a number of factors, such as an injury to the jaw or joint misalignment and may give rise to a variety of symptoms, most commonly jaw pain, but also face pain, earaches, secondary headaches and pain in the neck muscles.According to NIDCR, temporomandibular disorders fall into three main categories:
- myofascial pain most common, which is discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function and the neck and shoulder muscles
- internal derangement of the joint meaning a dislocated jaw or displaced disc, or condyle injury
- degenerative joint disease such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the jaw
A person may have one or more of these conditions at the same time.
NIH Publication No. 94-3487