The Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or jaw joint is suspended from the base of the skull by an intricate system of tendons and muscles. It is also the most complicated joint in the human body. There are two TMJs, one each side, the interplay between which causes three dimensional motion. This makes jaw movements incredibly complex and difficult to analyse.
The way your teeth fit together is called Occlusion. When your teeth are not in proper relation to each other and to your TMJs, the jaw moves to a new position in an attempt to compensate for the misalignment of the teeth, a condition known as Malocclusion. With a malocclusion, clenching or grinding your teeth (Bruxism) can cause abnormal tooth wear, cracked or broken teeth, muscle spasm, sore TMJs, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, sore teeth, earache and many other problems.