Any problem that prevents the complex TM joint system of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones from working properly may result in a painful TMJ disorder.
Two joints and several jaw muscles make it possible to open and close the mouth. They work together when you chew, speak or swallow. They include muscles and ligaments, as well as the jaw bone--the mandible (lower jaw) with two joints called the temporomandibular joints or “TMJ.” The TM joints are among the most complex joints in the body.
Common symptoms include pain in or around the ear, tenderness of the jaw, clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth, or headaches and neck pain.