The temporomandibular joint (TMJ)is a hinge/sliding type joint that connects the mandible (jaw) to the skull and is located in front of each ear. This joint functions to allow proper movement of the jaw when eating or talking.
The temporomandibular joint is a synovial joint comprised of a capsule and an articular disc. This fibrocartilagenous disc is susceptible to injury and degeneration with age. Additionally three ligaments comprise the temporomandibular joint helping to stabilize the joint.
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD or TMJD) is a condition where improper movement that can cause facial pain and headaches. Pain can come from the muscles, disc or degenerative joint disease.
Myofascial pain dysfunction syndrome involves muscles of mastication that move the jaw. Displacement of the disc can also result in facial pain. Just like other joints the temporomandibular joint can be subject to degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis.