The jaw joint is a complex mechanism that can be affected by a number of factors – and sometimes by multiple factors. These can cause chronic pain and dysfunction in the jaw and surrounding areas.
Most TMJ pain and dysfunction issues are occasional and temporary – they resolve themselves with little more than time and rest. However, some people suffer from chronic, long-term TMJ problems that make it difficult to chew, talk, or live comfortably.
Generally, TMJ disorders are broken into three broad categories:
- Jaw muscle pain.
- A problem with the actual function of the joint.
- Arthritis, which causes inflammation and degeneration of the joint.
It is important to note that some patients suffer from more than one of the above disorders