“Two abbreviations are often used interchangeably. They refer to different terms. Let’s figure out what each means.”

Theemporomandibular joint is a joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. You have a pair of joints. They can be found on either side of your head.

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), sometimes also referred to as TMJD, is a group of conditions that happen when your TMJ becomes inflamed or painful.

Sometimes, people call this disorder “tmj” because of its relation to the temporomandibular joint. It is best to separate the two terms and refer to the health condition as “tmd” or “tmj”.

Your tms is shaped like a sliding hinge that allows your jaw to open and close.

The mechanisms that work together help your temporomandibular joint function.

First, the parts of your bones that form the joint are covered with cartilage, a flexible connective tissue. Second, these bones are separated by a shock-absorbing disc also made of cartilage. Third, the joint is filled with a thick, lubricating liquid called synovial fluid.

With the help of many muscles in your face and head, tmj makes it possible for you.

  • chew
  • suck
  • Administer the swallow
  • Speak.
  • Change your expression.
  • Relax.
Conditions that may cause TMJ, such as teeth grinding and stress
Conditions that may cause TMJ, such as teeth grinding and stress. Illustration by Antonio Jimenez.

Your tms is complex and can be damaged. Damage to the tms results in tmd.

TMD can affect one or both sides of your face. Symptoms can be temporary or last years. The condition may be common in women — according to a 2018 study, women are twice as likely as men to develop TMD.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the symptoms of TMD may include:

  • There is pain in your face, neck, shoulder, or back.
  • The muscles of the jaw are stiff.
  • The jaw is locked or limited movement.
  • Clicking or popping in the temporomandibular joint.
  • Changes in how your teeth fit together.
  • There are headaches.
  • earaches or ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

According to 2022 research, the most frequent causes of TMD are:

  • overuse of your chewing muscles, which can happen if you:
  • misaligned bite (for example, underbite or overbite)
  • anxiety and stress
  • There is damage to your lower jawbone from dental issues.
  • wear and tear on the cartilage, for instance, due to arthritis
  • There is damage to the disc inside your temporomandibular joint.
  • Jaw differences at birth.

There are many causes of the disease.

If you have any of the symptoms of the disease, seek medical attention.

  • Have persistent pain.
  • Have some pain.
  • Have inflammation in your jaw.
  • “Can’t close or open your jaw completely.”

Your primary care professional can help you if you are diagnosed with or treated for TMD.

The treatment of the disease varies based on factors.

  • The cause of your disease.
  • Your age.
  • Your general health.
  • How long have you been living with your symptoms?
  • Your opinion and preferences.

Treatment of the disease may include:

There are treatment options for the disease.

The terms “tmj” and “tmd” are related, but are often confused.

Temporomandibular joint is a joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. Temporomandibular joint disorder is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint.

There is damage to your temporomandibular joint. It causes a lot of pain and inflammation.

Make sure to Speak. with your dentist or primary care professional if you suspect you have TMD. Many treatment options can help you find relief from this condition.