Tempero-Mandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
Chronic habitual muscular tension is the basic underlying cause of this condition.
Temporary relief of TMJ:
First, one should try to avoid doing anything surgically until one gets a chance to see that there are other solutions to this problem. All of the surgical options have very common complications and, once done, seriously interfere with the true solutions to this problem.
I had a severe case of this myself when I first got into medical practice. This was long before I learned that they had not taught me all there was to know in medical school. I have had personal, as well as extensive professional experience in coping with this problem. As soon as I learned to stop clenching my teeth, I began to solve the problem.
Following is how to stop an attack of PAIN when it is bugging whoever has TMJ. This is NOT a cure but it does work at the time.
Go to the store and buy one of those bendy, slanty-ended, red, rubber erasers that they used to put in our first grade school kits, years ago. It should be one that is about 1/4th inch thick and 1/2-3/4 inches wide. Cut off the slanty ends and cut the remainder into two square pieces of rubber the normal thickness of the eraser.
Place these between the back teeth, while the person is having pain, and just keep them there. One can flip them into the cheeks to talk and take them out to eat and sleep. One will find that, unless s/he makes a point of clamping down HARD on the rubber, just resting the jaw on this pad will abort the pain. If one chooses to habitually carry these pads in this position, although it will be awkward, there will probably be no more attacks while the person is going after the causes.
Of course, there are many KINDS of stressors that contribute to the muscle tension in the jaws that causes this problem. These need to be evaluated on a case by case basis. However, like anything else, if the professional concentrates on the tip of the iceberg (the TMJ), instead of the CAUSES, the results will be less than desired and a lot more expensive than reasonable.