What We Know — And Don’t Know — About TMJD
A Consultation with Dr. Raymond Hoffmann and Dr. Jane Morley Kotchen | Featured on Dear Doctor
I am a fifty-five year old woman, and I’ve been suffering from TMJD pain for many years. I also have arthritis, chronic fatigue and headaches. Are these conditions related, and what would help?
Many people who suffer from temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD) do indeed find that they have other health problems of the type you describe. Let me sum up for you what we know about TMJD, what has proven helpful in treating it, and how it relates to other painful conditions.
TMJD refers to a group of ill-defined, painful, even debilitating disorders that affect the jaw joints, muscles and other surrounding tissues. Some people use the acronym TMJ to refer to the disorder, but TMJ is actually the abbreviation for the temporomandibular (jaw) joint itself. Health care professionals prefer to use TMD or TMJD. Whatever names it goes by, the common thread is pain or limited function in and around the jaw. There also may be popping, clicking or grating sounds when the jaws open or close, but this is not cause for concern unless accompanied by pain or limited jaw movement.