The temporomandibular joints are located in front of the ears and allow for the hinge and rotational movements involved in opening and closing of the mouth.
The joints are surrounded by several muscles, and ligaments that work as a unit for swallowing, speaking, chewing, yawning and simple opening and closing of the mouth.
Typically, jaw pain requires a complete workup and understanding of how the muscles, cartilage, ligaments and bones work together. Occasionally, and MRI or CT scan may be needed to further evaluate the anatomy of the joints and surrounding structures.
Typically, non-surgical options are enough to improve pain and functional issues. In some patients however, surgical procedures may be necessary.
Having TMJ disorder can typically be divided into muscle pain or actual joint issues with the bone or disc. Whatever the cause, the result may be pain, malocclusion, clicking, grinding noises and limited opening.