East End Dental Wellness

Little-Known Fact: “EVERYONE has TMJ.” 

Little-Known Fact: “EVERYONE has TMJ.” 

Little-Known Fact: “EVERYONE has TMJ.” 

You’ve probably heard the term “TMJ.” If you’ve ever had headaches, a clicking sound coming from your jaw, facial pain, or jaw pain, you might have even been diagnosed with “TMJ.” But, actually, everyone has TMJ. Let me explain.

TMJ is the abbreviation for the “temporomandibular joint.” It is the hinge that connects your jaw to your skull and allows you to move your jaw so you can chew, talk, yawn. In other words, TMJ is the actual physical bone and musculature in that part of your face. So, when a doctor says you have TMJ, he’s

using the wrong terminology. Everyone has TMJ. What you might have, is TMD.

TMD is “temporomandibular joint dysfunction.” It’s the proper term for someone who is experiencing jaw pain and/or facial pain caused by that joint.  Just like an athlete might experience a partial strain or tear in his or her meniscus (knee ligament) and experience knee joint pain, a patient with TMD might experience strained facial muscles and jaw joint pain.

The symptoms of TMD can range from mild to severe, so if you have any of the aforementioned symptoms, be sure to give us a call or discuss it at your next visit. And, the next time you hear a doctor say “TMJ,” you can smile and say, “Everyone has TMJ.”

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