Difference Between TMJ and TMD Questions and Answers

Difference Between TMJ and TMD Questions and Answer

If you’re having jaw joint pain, then you’re probably wondering what the issue could be. We’d like to shed some light on this for you, and we’re certainly capable of treating you here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders. Read on for details about TMJ and TMD! Please call us for more information or book an appointment online. We have 8 clinic locations. We Serve Patients All Over the USA. Locations in Bloomington IL, Peoria – Dunlap IL, Lafayette IN, Mishawaka IN, Columbia MO, Kansas City MO, Albuquerque NM, Brewster NY, El Paso TX, Wausau WI.

Difference Between TMJ and TMD | Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders
Difference Between TMJ and TMD | Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders

What does TMJ and TMD pain feel like?

TMJ pain may be felt all over the jaw joint, right in front of the ear specifically, or radiating in the face. The pain might be constant or coming and going and may be accompanied by headaches that throb or pierce, a clicking or popping of the jaw when you eat or talk, sharp and stabbing ear pain, dull aches, spasms in the jaw or face, pain behind the eyes or in the ears, difficulty swallowing, ringing in the ears, ear congestion, or related issues.

What is TMJ? What is TMD?

The TMJ is the temporomandibular joint, a biarthroidal hinge joint on either side of the head where the lower jaw meets the skull. The TMJ is responsible for the complex movements necessary for life. Some people refer to a disorder of the jaw joint as a “TMJ”, but “TMD” is more accurate, as it stands for temporomandibular joint disorder. This disorder is the name given to any problem that prevents the complex system of muscles, nerves and bones at the TMJ from working together in harmony.

TMD or any problem with the TMJ can make eating, speaking, and even sleeping difficult and painful, and if left untreated, it can lead to significant and even chronic complications. It’s best to see a professional about any issue with the TMJ.

What should I do about TMD?

You definitely should seek professional advice for TMD or a TMJ problem, especially if you’ve been experiencing issues for a while now. TMD might never go away unless it’s professionally treated. Also, the disorder, its cause, and the symptoms could worsen and lead to joint inflammation, joint damage, the wearing down of your teeth, and even contribute to an airway sleep disorder like sleep apnea. In turn, severe, untreated sleep apnea may lead to heart disease and other life-compromising conditions.

These issues can be managed, your symptoms can be relieved, and the root cause of your disorder should be addressed by a professional. Your symptoms may have been caused by something like arthritis in the jaw, a prior injury, or teeth clenching and grinding, and a professional can help to correct or manage such an issue to prevent further complications. You do not have to live your life in pain. Sometimes, simple jaw stretches and exercises are enough to relieve a TMJ problem, while other times, TMD therapy with a neuromuscular appliance and TENS therapy is the best option. Come see us here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders today and take your life back.

Do you treat TMJ problems and TMD near me?

We likely do! Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders has clinic locations in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin. We ask that you refer to our Locations page for the location nearest you, its address, and its contact information, then connect with us at that location. We’ll be able to answer any other questions you have for us over the phone or schedule you for a consultation with one of our TMJ and TMD doctors.

We’re confident we can help you here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, and if you are too, then reach out to us today!

Our Locations

El Paso

  • 6901 Helen of Troy, Ste D-2 El Paso, TX 79911
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Kansas City


  • 309 E. Empire St. Ste 500, Bloomington, IL 61704
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  • 11825 N. State Rt 40, Ste 100, Dunlap, IL 61525
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  • 230 E. Day Rd., Suite 150, Mishawaka, IN 46545
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  • 413 North 17th Avenue Ste. #100, Wausau, WI. 54401
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Directions To Nearest Koala Location