Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Temporomandibular Joint: Explained

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the jaw joint. You have two of them which work together as a pair, one in front of each ear. Without this joint, you would not be able to chew your food, yawn, or even speak. The joints connect the lower jaw bone (mandible) to the temporal bones of the skull on each side of the head. When this joint begins to cause facial pain, headaches, and/or jaw muscle stiffness, our doctors at Nicholas Cosmetic Dental Center can develop a treatment plan.

When you open your mouth, the rounded upper ends of the mandible on each side of the jaw glide along the joint socket at the base of the skull. They slide back to their original position when you close your mouth. This joint is unique in the sense that the articular surfaces of the bones never actually come in contact with one another – they are separated by an articular disk. This disk splits the joint into two synovial joint cavities, each lined by a synovial membrane. It is important to keep in mind that occasional clicking or discomfort in the jaw joint or chewing muscles is common, but if you have a serious concern for TMD, you should schedule a consultation with our doctors.

If you have questions about the temporomandibular joint or TMJ/TMD, please give us a call. For more information about the services we provide at the office, visit To schedule an appointment with one of our doctors at Nicholas Cosmetic Dental Center in Philadelphia, PA, call 215-279-1193.

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