TMD Anatomy & Physiology

The Temporomandibular Joint gets its name from its three basic components:

  1. The temporal bone of the skull = Temporo
  2. The lower jaw or mandible = Mandibular.
  3. The structure that holds the two together = Joint.

The Temporomandibular Joints are unique within the body because of their range of movement.  Unlike any other joint they can move forward and  backward, side to side and up and down.  Like any mechanism, the more complicated it is the more opportunities there are for something to malfunction.  When there is a malfunction, the body automatically tries to compensate; in most cases the muscles of the face and neck take the lead in trying to keep your teeth & jaw working properly.  Unfortunately, this often results in stress, fatigue and eventual malfunction. Temporomandibular disorders can often result in such varied symptoms from migraines to  lower back pain.