The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles causing stress to your TM joint. Or, you may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease.

Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking, or grating noises when you open your mouth, or trouble opening your mouth wide.


  • Do you have this disorder?

  • Are you aware of grinding or clenching your teeth?

  • Do you wake up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws?

  • Do you have frequent headaches or neck aches?

  • Does the pain get worse when you clench your teeth?

  • Does stress make your clenching and pain worse?

  • Does your jaw click, pop, grate, catch, or lock when you open your mouth?

  • Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth, eat, or yawn?

  • Have you ever injured your neck, head, or jaws?

  • Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints?

  • Do you have teeth that no longer touch when you bite?

  • Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?

  • Is it hard to use your front teeth to bite or tear food?

  • Are your teeth sensitive, loose, broken, or worn?


The more times you answered "yes," to the above questions, the more likely it is that you have a TMJ disorder.