In front of each ear, is the temporomandibular joint which is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull. It lets you move your jaw up and down and side to side, so you can chew, talk and yawn.
Problems with your jaw and the muscles in your face that control it are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD) but known as TMJ.
Injury to the joint, your jaw or the muscles of your head and neck like from a heavy blow or whiplash can lead to TMD. Other causes include:
TMD often causes severe pain and discomfort. It can last many years or be temporary. It might affect one or both sides of your face. More women than men have it, and it’s most common among people between the ages of 20 and 40.