What Is the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull, which is immediately in front of the ear on each side of your head. The joints are flexible, allowing the jaw to move smoothly up and down and side to side and enabling you to talk, chew, and yawn. Muscles attached to and surrounding the jaw joint control the position and movement of the jaw.

What Causes TMD?

TMD is commonly known as Temporal Mandibular Dysfunction. The cause of TMD is not clear, but dentists and other therapists such as myotherapists believe that symptoms arise from problems with the muscles of the jaw or with the parts of the TMJ joint itself.

Injury to the jaw, the joint itself, or muscles of the head and neck — such as a sporting injury or car accident (whiplash) — can cause TMD. There are many other possible causes of TMD those include..

Grinding or clenching the teeth, this puts a lot of pressure on the TMJ and tightens the surrounding muscles from over use.

Damage to the soft cushion or articulate disc between the ball and socket (joint)

Presence of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ. These can be subjected to people of an older age or genetic disposition

Stress, which causes a person to subconsciously grind or clench. This can happen through the night or day.

Andre Andrade – Elite Myotherapist