Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD or TMJD) is a condition, in which the hinged connection between the upper and lower jaw joint is not functioning properly. This is one of the most complex joints in the body, responsible for the forward, backward and sideways movement of the lower jaw. TMD often feels as though the jaw snaps or clicks or just gets stuck for a while.


TMD hinders this complex system of muscles, tendons, discs and bones to function as it should. According to current knowledge, there is no single cause for developing and/or maintaining TMD, but there is often a combination of several factors. One could think of:


Some of the most common signs and symptoms of TMD are:


Upon presuming temporomandibular joint dysfunction, the dentist can help in making a proper diagnosis by reviewing the complete medical history of the teeth. Sometimes, additional examination is needed to determine the diagnosis, such as X-rays, CT scan, MRI, taking dental impressions or laboratory examination.


The dentist may advise one or more of the following treatments in order to reduce the symptoms of TMD drastically:


The prognosis of TMD depends on the cause of the problem. In many patients, TMD can be successfully treated with home remedies, such as changing posture or reducing stress. If the condition is caused by a chronic (long-lasting) disease such as arthritis, the prognosis is not so good. Arthritis eventually leads to destruction of the joint and more pain. In these cases, a more aggressive treatment, such as surgery, can be needed.