What Is The TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the name of the small joint in front of the ears where the lower jaw connects to the base of the skull. This joint performs two main jobs during function. The first is rotation, which is like a hinge movement that accounts for the first half of opening your mouth. The second is translation, or gliding, which allows for the second half of the action of opening the mouth. During both of these actions, there is a small round disk of tissue that sits between the base of the skull and the lower jaw that moves along with the jaw as it opens and closes. This small disk is held in place by ligaments that attach all around its edges.
The other components that are involved in the proper function of the TMJ are the teeth and the muscles that control how the jaw moves.
What Are TMJ/TMD Disorders?
TMJ and Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) come in many levels of severity and can involve any or all of the above mentioned structures. Some patients may experience stress, clenching or grinding of teeth, painful joints, painful muscles, limited opening, and arthritis of the TMJ.
What Are The Treatment Options?
Treatment options for TMJ/TMD may include biofeedback, home exercises, physical therapy, medications, splint therapy or surgical treatment. In most cases, surgery is only done after more conservative treatments have failed to help resolve the problem.
For more information about TMJ, please click the following link: https://myoms.org/procedures/tmj