The TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint), is the joint on each side of the head at the foundation of the skull. It interfaces your lower jaw to your skull, permiting important facial movements.
The moves that TMJ allows are side to side, up and down, in addition to protrusion and retrusion. This complex joint, in company with its connected muscles, permits the moves needed for chewing, making facial expressions and even speaking.
What are TMJ disorders (TMD)?
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction is the name given to several symptoms which take place when the jaw joints and the related muscles are disrupted. Temporomandibular joint disorder is also known as TMD and refers to pain and dysfunction of jaw-moving muscles.
Individuals with this condition don’t see their lives threatened, but it could limitate their quality of life in case symptoms become chronic.
Many possible causes of TMJ disorders exist. Some known causes are:
- Dental surgeries
- Poor head and neck posture
- Psychological factors (stress, anxiety, depression)
- Physical injuries
- Jaw or joint trauma
- Teeth grinding or clenching
There are also genetic, hormonal, or environmental related causes, so certain people are more likely to developing a TMJ disorder, such as women, violinists, individuals between the age of 30-50, etc.