What a misnomer! The TMJ is the temporomandibular joint connecting the mandible, or lower jaw, to the skull. We all have it! Put your fingers in front of your ears and open and close; you will feel the TMJ. The condyle, or tip of the mandible, should rotate and slide evenly and smoothly down the maxillary slope. If the two sides are uneven, if you hear a pop or click, or feel pain, or if your jaw locks at times, you MAY have a disfunction of the joint, or TMJ disfunction. That is the proper terminology! Saying “I have TMJ” is like saying “I have knee,” or “I have shoulder.”
How to treat it? First, you need a very careful diagnosis of the problem. Second, you need to explore the many noninvasive treatment modalities that may alleviate some of the symptoms. I will be happy to see you for a TMJ consultation at my Long Island dental office.