Symptoms associated with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction include jaw pain, muscle pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, ongoing headaches and migraines, dizziness, ear pain, ear pressure, painful popping or clicking in the jaw when moving the mouth, locked jaw, stiff muscles in the facial region and problems with eyesight, according to the TMJ Association. Pain does not always accompany these symptoms and some people have TMJ dysfunction simply because they experience difficulty with mobilizing their jaw.
TMJ dysfunction is also sometimes referred to as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). The temporomandibular joint is the part of the jaw that allows the mouth to open and close. It is also rooted to the rest of the skull by the ears. It is not yet known why TMJ dysfunction occurs, but doctors have found that grinding the teeth can contribute to its development, as can arthritis and stress, according to WebMD.
To determine whether or not a patient has TMJ dysfunction, doctors will need to first rule out other conditions while performing a physical examination of the jaw. At this time, there is not a TMJ specialty and not all doctors are able to properly diagnose the disorder, reports the TMJ Association. If a patient feels that he or she may be struggling with TMJ dysfunction, it is important to locate a doctor who has dealt with the condition before for proper assessment and treatment.