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The following information is an excellent example of available patient education from Crest + Oral-B dentalcare.com.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are a group of conditions that cause pain in the TMJ and around nearby muscles. Clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth puts an additional strain on the muscles of the jaw causing inflammation. TMJ problems can affect a person’s ability to speak, eat, chew, swallow, make facial expressions, and even breathe. If you’re stressed to the point of clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth, you can develop pain associated with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The TMJ is the joint that hinges the lower jaw to the skull, enabling you to open and close your mouth.