What is the temporomandibular joint?
As its name suggests, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located at the junction of the temporal bone of the skull and the lower jaw (mandible), on either side of the face, in front of the ears. Each human has 2 ATMs.
ATMs play a key role in essential functions involving opening and closing the mouth, such as speaking, chewing, swallowing and even yawning. They are therefore the most stressed joints of the human body.
In addition, they can perform slides and forward and backward (antero-posterior) pivots, in addition to slight left to right movements, in a synchronized manner. They also support functions that involve the teeth and are subjected to high forces. All these features give them the title of the most complex joints of the human body.
The components of TMJ
The TMJ is made up of several elements, the main ones being:
The ear canal is located behind the TMJ.
These elements, as well as other surrounding and related structures, must be in perfect balance to function properly.