Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are a group of conditions affecting the joints, muscles, ligaments, and other tissues surrounding this joint. The word disorder is often used instead of ‘disease’ because there may not be an actual disease process; however, TMJ problems can lead to pain, dysfunction, and degenerative changes in the joint.
The TMJ is a complex joint situated on each side of the head where the lower jaw (mandible) meets the temporal bone of the skull. It is designed to allow for smooth and powerful movements of the mandible during chewing, speaking, yawning, and other functions. The TMJ is stabilized by a system of muscles, ligaments, and fascia which surround the joint. Disorders at this joint can lead to pain, dysfunction, and restriction of movement.