Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

pp 2485-2487

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

  • Linda McWhorterAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte


Temporomandibular dysfunction, temporomandibular joint disorder, temporomandibular disease and “TMJ”.

Short Description

The temporomandibular joint, where the lower jaw or mandible connects with the skull, is located in front of each ear. Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) can be caused by injury to the joint, degenerative diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and parafunction of the jaw (tooth grinding/clenching), and in some cases there is no known cause. Symptoms include jaw pain, headaches, limited range of motion, the jaw getting “stuck” in the open or closed position, and/or popping and clicking sounds on opening. These symptoms can interfere with speech, eating, and sleeping, resulting in additional psychosocial effects and health risks.


Based on the Research Diagnostic Criteria (RDC) for TMD, created by the International RDC-TMD Consortium, TMDs are classified into three groups, with diagnoses within each group mutually e ...

This is an excerpt from the content