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Word Count: 300
TMJ TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT The temporomandibular joint connects the lower jaw called the mandible to the temporal bone at the side of the head Because the joints are flexible the jaw can move smoothly up and down and side to side enabling us to chew talk and yawn Muscles attached to and surrounding the jaw joint control its position and movement The TMJ is the most frequently used joint in the body When we open our mouths the rounded end of the mandible called condyles glide along the joint socket of the temporal bone These condyles slide back to their original position when we close our mouths To keep this motion smooth a soft disc lies between the condyle and the temporal bone This disc absorbs shocks to the TMJ from chewing and other movements Some problems relating to this joint are caused by habitually clenching or grinding your teeth because you increase the wear on the cartilage lining of the temporomandibular joint Also Internal Derangement of this joint is present when the posterior band of the meniscus is anteriorly displaced in front of the condyle Often the displaced posterior band will return to its normal position when the condyle reaches a certain point This derangement causes you to hear a popping or clicking sound in your ear commonly called TMJ disorder Although in some patients the meniscus remains anteriorly displaced at full opening which can cause an inability in fully opening the mouth Sometimes there can be a tear in the meniscus and this is a more severe than the TMJ disorder It can lead to the joint breaking down and resulting in a receding chin and protruding teeth as time goes by If this disk is pressing against the inner ear you can suffer from hearing loss
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