The most common cause of facial pain is a group of conditions called temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJDs). These disorders cause recurrent or chronic pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and its associated muscles and supporting tissues. TMJDs are the second most commonly occurring musculoskeletal conditions resulting in pain and disability (after chronic low back pain), affecting approximately 5 to 12% of the population, with an annual cost estimated at $4 billion. About half to two-thirds of those with TMJ disorders will seek treatment. Among these, approximately 15% will develop chronic TMJD.
Currently there are no data about TMJDs based on a large nationwide sample. Most of these data have been gathered from studies with smaller samples of limited population groups.