Temporomandibular Joint is the area where the mandible articulates with the cranium. It is described as a complex, multiaxial, synovial, bicondylar and ginglimoarthroidal joint. TMJ is also known as Cranio Mandibular Joint/Articulation
Why we should know TMJ?
Most patients consult a dentist because of pain and dysfunction in temporo mandibular region
TMD (Temporomandibular Disorders) include myofascial pain, internal dearrangement, inflammation, dislocation, ankylosos, neoplasia, etc.
So to treat TMD’s we should know well the anatomy and physiology of the whole articulatory system of temporomandibular region
TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINTS Contains the following:
It is also known as mandibular/ glenoid fossa
Limits: anteriorly articular eminence, posteriorly post glenoid tubercle
The articular part of the mandible is an ovoid condylar process
Shape: Normally ovoid. May be flat, round and angular
Poles: medial and lateral
Medial is more prominent
Diameter: Mesiolateral – 13 to 25mm and Antero posterior 5.5 to 16mm
It is a thin sleeve fibrous tissue investing joint completely
Inside Fibrous Tissue capsule, a silky synovial membrane is there
It is an intervening disc which divides the articular space into two compartments
Inferior/ Condylodiscal Compartment
Superior or Condylodiscal Compartment
Anteriorly it is attached with articular eminence. Posteriorly it is divided into two lamina.
Superior Retrodiscal Lamina
Inferior Retrodiscal Lamina
Within these lamina there is retrodiscal tissue space.
The Functions of Temporomandibular Joint
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ), or jaw joint, is a synovial joint that allows the complex movements necessary for life. It is the joint between condylar head of the mandible and the mandibular fossa of the temporal bone. This system is made up of the TMJ, teeth and soft tissue and it plays a role in breathing, eating and speech.
The TMJ is defined as a ginglymoarthrodial joint because it has a rotational movement in the sagittal plane and a translation movement on its own axis – this translation movement generates more movement. These movements are constrained by various passive factors, as well as passive tension of the ligaments and muscles.
Dysfunction of the TMJ can cause severe pain and lifestyle limitation.
Temporomandibular disorders are common and sufferers will often seek physiotherapy advice and treatment. Good knowledge of the anatomy of the TMJ and related structures is essential to correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment.