What is the temporomandibular joint?

Categories: TMJ

This month we are focusing our educational blog on the temporomandibular joint, more commonly known as TMJ.  The American Dental Association (ADA) considers the temporomandibular one of the most complex joints in the body because it is composed of numerous muscles, ligaments and bones. Its function is to allow the jaw to move up and down, facilitating chewing and speech in normal use. The joint itself is comprised of a disc between a ball and socket; the disc cushions the forces on the joint.  If there is any condition which inhibits these components from working together properly; TMJ disorder (TMD) may occur. Popping, clicking, limited chewing function and an inability to open the mouth fully are all symptoms, as are headaches and other pain.