Your Temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are attachments that connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints get a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Sometimes, the chewing muscles and jaw joints do not function together properly causing clicking or popping in the joint, pain in the joint and muscles, restricted jaw movements or limited opening.
Problems with the TMJ can produce symptoms that may not seem related to it but can be a direct result of TMJ. The symptoms can include:
• Pain and soreness in your jaw joint and muscles of your face
• Noises in your joint on movements such as clicking or popping sounds
• Difficulty opening or closing your jaw
• Difficulty chewing food
• Your teeth not feeling like they fit together properly
• Difficulty opening your mouth wide
• Pain, ringing or stiffness in your ears
• Grinding your teeth
• Awakening in the morning with soreness in your jaw or muscles of your face
• Sleep problems
In addition, neck and shoulder pain, as well as clicking or grating noises of the jaw joint with movement, locking of the jaw or pain in the jaw with function, are frequently encountered. Sufferers may not possess all of these symptoms; however, it is most certainly possible that they may.