TMJ Dysfunction the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ for short, can result in substantial pain and impairment. Muscles are usually the cause of the dysfunction. The most common symptom experienced from suffers include pain, limited jaw movement, and a clicking or popping sound in the joint. But other symptoms can include headache, neck, face, and shoulder pain. Dysfunction is most often caused by overusage of the muscles of mastication and by activities including chewing gum continuously, stress, biting habits (fingernails and pencils), grinding habits, and clenching habits. About 75% of patients that are considered candidates for conservative treatment will respond to conservative therapy including modalities, ice, diet alteration, adjustments, muscle work, as well as therapeutic laser.