What Are TMJ and TMD?

What are TMJ and TMD?

TMJ is short for temporomandibular joints.

These are the two joints that connect your jaw to your skull -- the joints that slide and rotate in front of your ears.

TMD is short for temporomandibular disorder.

Any problem that prevents the complex system of muscles, bones, and joints from working together in harmony may result in temporomandibular disorder.

The National Institute of Dental Research, part of the National Institutes of Health, classify the categories of TMD by the following criteria:

  • myofascial pain - the most common form of TMD, which is discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function and the neck and shoulder muscles.
  • internal derangement of the joint - meaning a dislocated jaw or displaced disc, or injury to the rounded edges of the jaw.
  • degenerative joint disease - such as osteoporosis or rheumatoid arthritis in the jaw joint.

A person can have one or more of these conditions at the same time.

Appreciation from S.M. in Vancouver, WA:

"I came to Dr. Parker in excruciating pain after being diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia. On a pain scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being 'I just want to die,' I was a 9+. After three hours in Dr. Parker’s office that day I left at a pain level of 6. Dr. Parker and his staff were so sensitive, thorough, respectful and knowledgeable. They taught me tools to use to help lower the level of pain. It’s been 15 months since that first day I walked in and over the last 9 months I have only seen Dr. Parker once… and have lived pretty much pain free. Honestly, I feel that Dr. Parker helped to give me my full, vibrant, wonderful life back!!!"