TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint so everyone has one! TMD stands for Temporomandibular Disorder and is the name for the symptoms that many people refer to as TMJ.
The TMJ is a synovial joint where the lower jaw meets the skull and symptoms can range from clicking to popping, pain, locking, tightness, headaches, tooth sensitivity and more.
Teeth, muscles of mastication (chewing muscles) and the TMJ make up a complex system that for many people are not in harmony with each other. Oftentimes, the teeth, although they may be straight and beautiful, are preventing the jaw from seating where it wants to seat and the discrepancy causes the muscles to work overtime. This leads to jaw pain, muscle tightness, headaches, receding gums, and tooth sensitivity.
Treatment of TMD can vary. Many people do great with a nighttime appliance called an Occlusal Splint or Nightguard. Sometimes realigning the teeth to allow the jaw to seat is a possibility by either orthodontics or occlusal equilibration. Many different types of jaw surgeries exist to treat a wide variety of disorders and all options can be discussed with any of the doctors at your next visit.