AZ San Tan Valley Dentist


The temporomandibular joint, also referred to as the TMJ joint has been known to give some people problems when it comes to their oral health. #martindental So what is TMJ?  This joint is located at the base of the skull right in front of the ear structure.  It connects the lower jaw with the upper jaw.  TMJ is unique in that its structure, which is composed of a rounded protrusion of the mandible that sits against an indentation in the skull.  It is also a disc-like structure that is made of a soft bone, cartilage, and it is found between the two bones. AZ San Tan Valley Dentist

The three parts of the TMJ are held together by ligaments.  They come from different parts of the head and neck to support the jaw and to help guide its movements.  Muscles are also attached to those ligaments, aiding in the motion of the lower jaw. 

So how does TMJ actually work?  It works in two ways to open your mouth. The first way is somewhat like a hinge, simply opening and closing the mouth.  The second way is a sliding motion, translation, where the lower jaw moves down and forward.  This motion is what helps with eating, yawning, and even singing. AZ San Tan Valley Dentist

So what happens to cause problems with TMJ?  Just like any joint in the body, TMJ can be fractured.  It can also swell, get sore and result in limited movement of the lower jaw.  Pain also can be felt from the head and neck area. #smilewithconfidence Fracturing the articular disc is rare, but it can get displaced.  Arthritis of the TMJ is also very rare.  Usually TMJ is temporary and can be treated with a combination of ice and heat. 

Fill Out Form
free consultation