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TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are problems related to the jaw joint. The temporomandibular joint connects the lower jaw to the skull (temporal bone) under your ear. Because the muscles, bite, and joint work in unison, a problem with any one may cause facial pain or a clicking sound. Muscle tension can lead to joint stiffness, headaches, and pain around your TMJ. Bite problems can change the posture of your jaw. Joint problems, such as a disc out of position, can cause clicking sounds or a “locked jaw.”
Treatment options include an occlusal splint or occlusal adjustment. A splint is a clear, plastic appliance that fits over your top and bottom teeth, in order to establish harmony between your muscles, bite, and joint. An occlusal adjustment involves “shaving down” one or more teeth to restore proper alignment of your bite, so that the joint can move more smoothly.