TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint; TMD refers to temporomandibular joint disorder. This is a condition where your jaw joint gets locked open and/or closed or if it hurts your jaw joint to open, close, chew, yawn, etc. Common root problems of TMD are when your chewing muscles are overworked or the joint itself is inflamed or damaged. Just like a knee or ankle joint injury, the more you use it the longer it will take to heal.
These are possible causes of TMD: bite shifting, injuries (sports, trauma, wisdom tooth extraction), over-use from clenching and/or grinding, etc. Dr. Frost will evaluate your jaw joint along with your chewing muscles to determine the origin of the pain. Depending on your symptoms and the clinical findings, the following may be recommended: a night guard, low energy laser (to reduce inflammation) or a referral to a jaw specialist if your case warrants a closer look.