What’s the difference between TMJ and TMD?
Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are a group of more than 30 conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and muscles that control jaw movement. “TMDs” refers to the disorders, and “TMJ” refers only to the temporomandibular joint itself. People have two TMJs; one on each side of the jaw.
Causes for TMJ/TMD:
Injury to the jaw or temporomandibular joint can lead to some TMDs, but in most cases, the exact cause is not clear. For many people, symptoms seem to start without obvious reason. Some research suggests a combination of genes, psychological and life stressors, and how someone perceives pain, may play a part in why a TMJ/TMD starts and how long it will last.
Because TMJ/TMDs are more common in women than in men, researchers are exploring whether the differences in TMJ structure and mechanics between females and males may play a role.
Pain in the chewing muscles and/or jaw joint (most common symptom).
Pain that spreads to the face or neck.
Limited movement or locking of the jaw.
Painful clicking, popping, or grating in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth.
Ringing in the ears, hearing loss, or dizziness.
A change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together.
A study done at the end of 2021 showed acupuncture treatments had a 93.3% effective rate for alleviating pain and restoring mobility for patients with (TMD), a temporomandibular joint disturbance syndrome involving the jaw joint and muscles.