In medical terminology, TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint (which is a joint of your jaw). If your TMJ does not function properly, over time you may develop pain in your jaw and face. That condition is called TMJ Disorder or TMJ Syndrome.
In everyday life people say “I have TMJ” when they want to convey that they have pain in the face or jaw. People also say “I have TMJ” when they believe that their jaw does not work correctly, or when their face muscles feel tight. Even though the popular use of the term TMJ is incorrect, we will utilize it when talking about any pain in the face or jaw (regardless of its causes) because that terminology is easily recognizable to people from outside of the medical community.
Medical names for complex dysfunctions involving bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles of the face and head include:
These names don’t identify the cause of face and jaw pain.
If the pain in your face and jaw is caused by a dysfunction of the muscles of your face, medical name for your problem would be:
If the reason for your pain is a dysfunction within the jaw joint, your doctor may call your condition one of the following:
Read more about what causes TMJ >
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