What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your jawbone to your temporal bone – part of your skull. There are two TMJs: one on each side of your head. Each TMJ consists of a variety of components, including a “ball and socket” joint, cushioning cartilage, and a number of ligaments.

The two TMJ joints are truly unique: they execute a hinge action like the knee, a sliding action,like the wrist, and a rotating action like the hip. Because the joints engage in such diverse movements, and because the two joints are connected to each other by the jaw bone, TMJs are susceptible to a variety of disorders and issues that can cause pain and loss of function.

Many people refer to TMJ pain or TMJ disorders simply as “TMJ.”