What is TMJ?

TMJ disorders are disorders that involve the temporomandibular joint and its supporting structures. TMJ disorders are also known as TMD or temporomandibular disorders. All TMJ disorders can be broken down into those that originate in the joint itself and those that originate in the structures surrounding the joint. There is adequate research to show that between 80% and 90% of all TMJ disorders are caused by injury to the joint itself.

Most injuries to the TMJ cause an injury to the TMJ disk ligaments. The TMJ disk is a piece of fibrous connective tissue that separates the TMJ ball from the socket. If you have clicking from your TMJ, then the disk is usually slipping in and out of place. If you have an inability to open your mouth more than half of normal, then the disk may be out of place at all times. If you have grinding noises from your TMJ, then the disk may be out of place at all times and the ball is contacting the bare socket.

There is research to show that 30% of the population who think they have normal TMJs actually have a disk displaced in one of their TMJs and do not know it and have no symptoms from the condition.


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