Do the muscles in your face feel tired? Does your jaw feel sore when you bite down or chew? Do you hear a popping, clicking, or grinding sound when you open your mouth, when you speak, or when you chew? Does one or both of your ears ache? Then you just might be suffering from what is commonly referred to as TMJ.
TMJ is an abbreviation for temporomandibular joint and is a term commonly used to refer to disfunction in the joint. These joints are located just in front of both of your ears and connect your bottom jaw with your skull. The temporomandibular joint is a sliding hinge joint that allows you to open and close your mouth, speak, and chew.
Much like your knee joint, the TMJ is divided in two parts by a disc. The disc serves as a buffer between the jaw bone and the skull. It is strong, yet flexible, and keeps the joint balanced during movement. The joint is also made up of muscles, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, and other tissues.