We do see cases of dislocation, although the image is mainly there to show the position of the temporomandibular joint. Marked by the “Condyle” another name for a round prominence at the end of a bone.
You may be surprised how close this is to the ear canal, the reason tinnitus, or other ear conditions can be symptomatic of TMJ disorders. The upper part of the jaw bone explains possible sinus symptoms.
A more striking aspect is how relatively small the joint is, when you consider how much use this has throughout life. Every time we eat, talk, perhaps take a deep breath.
Neither is the action of the temporomandibular joint straightforward. This should combine a hinge action with a smooth, sliding motion, to work comfortably and accurately.
A Vulnerable Location
To achieve the right motion, your jaw joint needs to be in good order, yet is quite exposed. Damage by a blow, or other trauma, are quite common issues, not least during sports activity.
Parts of the joint beyond the bone are vulnerable, including small, shock absorbing discs, ligaments and a substantial muscle group which all need to work together.
Beyond the articular discs, cartilage also covers part of the bone and as with other areas in our body, age, wear, or arthritis can have an unwanted effect.
Prevalent & Curable
The reason for outlining possible issues was not to concern you, more to explain why if you have a problem, you are not alone.
Around 10% of the population experience TMJ problems. Incidence is higher in women than men, although not strikingly, whilst age bring certains causes, cases in younger, or middle age are higher.
Whilst research should continue into higher risk groups, TMJ disorders are a broad reaching condition. They are also well understood and in specialist hands, most cases can be solved.
By all means read more on the individual assessment our London clinic offers and treatment for jaw disorders from our consultants.