TMJ refers to the jaw joint, the temporal mandibular joint. It is a highly specialized joint of the human body and it is unique in its' design, function and complexity. The TMJ can become painful due to the stresses from eating, chewing, or injury. The pain from these activities can be acute in nature or become chronic due to continual stresses that we place on the TMJ. Parafunctional habits such as chewing ice, gum, or clenching our teeth, can lead to chronic pain. When this occurs, seek treatment immediately from your dentist. Medications, relaxing exercises and possible splint therapy (night guard) may be indicated.