Dr Shodjaee Newsletter
TMD (Tempro-Mandibular Dysfunction) May 2007


in this issue


TMJ Function

Symptoms of TMD

Causes of TMD

Treatment of TMJ Disorder



TMJ Function

Normal TMJ Function

When the mouth opens, two distinct motions occur in the joint. The first motion is ROTATION around a horizontal axis through the condylar heads. The second motion is TRANSLATION. The condyle and meniscus move together anteriorly beneath the articular eminence. In the closed mouth position, the thick posterior band of the meniscus lies immediately above the condyle. As the condyle translates forward, the thinner intermediate zone of the meniscus becomes the articulating surface between the condyle and the articular eminence. When the mouth is fully open, the condyle may lie beneath the anterior band of the meniscus.


  Dear Farid,

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint connecting the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull (temporal bone). The lower jaw and the skull are connected by a number of muscles and ligaments, which function in harmony with each other if the lower jaw is in the correct position. The head of the jaw bone (lower jaw) is called the condyle and it fits into the concavity of the temporal bone called the glenoid fossa. The TM joint resembles a ball and socket with the round condyle being the ball and the glenoid fossa of the temporal bone being the socket. For normal joint function to occur, a piece of cartilage called an articular disc acts as a cushion or shock absorber between the two bones


  • Symptoms of TMD

    TMJ disorders have been called the "Great Impostors" due to the fact that many of the symptoms have overlapping characteristics, which often mimic other conditions. Because these symptoms masquerade so many other conditions, many people travel from medical doctor to medical specialist in search of a cure. Most patients never think to contact a dentist since the symptoms are primarily medical in nature. TMJ symptoms may include any of the following: Headaches Earaches, congestion or ringing in the ears Clicking, popping or grating sounds when opening and closing the mouth Limited jaw opening or locking Neck pain or stiffness Dizziness and fainting Pain when chewing Facial pain Difficulty closing the teeth together Tired jaws when chewing Numbness in hands Difficulty in swallowing

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  • Causes of TMD

    The temporomandibular joints are among the most utilized joints in the body, due to their prolonged use during chewing, talking, singing, yawning, etc. Jaw dysfunction (TM dysfunction) means that the lower jaw is not in its proper relationship to the upper jaw. This frequently results in a dislocation of the protective disc anteriorly as the lower jaw assumes a position further back than normal.

    SOME OF THE MOST COMMON CAUSES Lower Jaw Too Far Back, Deep dental overbite, Upper front teeth tipped backwards, Back teeth missing, Result: causes dislocation of the protective disc anteriorly Unbalanced Muscles, Clenching or grinding habits, Bad posture, Trauma, Automobile accidents, Whiplash injury, Intubation procedures in hospitals, Trauma to the head or jaw,

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  • Treatment of TMJ Disorder

    For most patients the TMD treatment is devided into two phases, 1. Diagnostic Phase 2. Jaw stabilization phase. Often patient needs some Cranial Osteopathy treatment as well to address the balance of the cranium, spine and pelvis with dentition.

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