TMJ Symptoms

What are the symptoms of TMJ/TMD?


TMJ disorder affects a large percentage of the population. TMJ stands for the name temporomandibular joint. TMD stands for temporomandibular disorder. TMJ symptoms are many and varied. For this reason, TMD has been called the “great imposter”. Many patients have symptoms caused by their TMJ that are not easily seen as related to the problem.


Patients may have one or all of the following:

Headache is one of the most common symptoms in TMJ disorders. Over 90% of patients with temporomandibular joint problems list headache as their #1 symptom.

Pain in the joint or the ear is a common complaint with TMJ problems. This can be continuous or only revealed by pressing on the joint or in the space around the TMJ.

Pain on chewing is one of the most common symptoms of TMJ disorders. Movement in the inflamed tissues or muscles around the joint can cause pain and limit jaw movement.

Inability to open the mouth or Limited ability to open mouth is called “closed lock”. This condition can be caused by the musculature that moves the jaw or can be caused by a dislocation of the disc in the joint itself.

Inability to close the mouth is another symptom of TMJ disorder that is usually caused by ligaments that are too lax to limit the joints movement effectively.

Joint noises/sounds are common in TM joints. There are many causes of these noises and may or may not indicate a need for treatment.

Tinnitus or ringing in the ears or fullness in the ear or ear congestion is another common symptom of TMJ disorders.

Facial Pain can result from problems with the TMJ and can occur at locations other than the joint itself due to the complex nervous system of the joint and face.

Neck pain frequently results from TMJ problems. Changes in the muscles that control the jaw may cause the head to be positioned forward placing stress on the muscles of the neck.

Dizziness may be caused by TM joint problems.