What are TMJ/TMD Disorders? (Part I)
Overview of TMJ/TMD Disorders
TMJ/TMD refers to the disorders of the temporomandibular joint. As seen in the picture above, it is the hinge that connects the jaw bone to the temporal bone of the skull. The temporomandibular joint is especially important as it helps you move your jaw up and down, from side to side and this allows you to chew, talk, yawn and smile.
What causes TMJ/TMD?
TMJ/TMD arises from problems with the muscles or problems with the joint. Here are some possible causes of TMJ/TMD:
* Heavy blow or whiplash which damages the joint
* Clenching or grinding teeth which places excessive pressure on the joint
* Arthritis which damages the cartilage
* Stress which leads to tightening of the facial muscles and jaw