The jaw joint
just in front of the ear is the “TMJ”,
which stands for the TemporoMandibular Joint.
Individuals experiencing orofacial pain (pain
in the head, jaw, face, neck and/or ear areas)
often refer to this as “TMJ”. Therefore;
the term TMJ is actually the name of the joint
and not a diagnosis. There are multiple diagnoses
to designate the conditions of orofacial pain
that are often lumped under the term TMJ.
The TMJ is the most complex joint of the body
and receives more stress and strains than any
other joint in the body. Overall, the TMJ is
one part of an extensive system that allows
us to chew, talk, smile, swallow, breathe, etc.
Muscles, nerves, ligaments, blood vessels, bones,
teeth, skin and other soft tissues are all components,
along with the TMJ, to allow humans full use
of the jaw system. To fully understand abnormalities
that may develop in this system it is useful
to have knowledge of the structures in their
The TMJ (TemporoMandibular Joint) designates
the Temporal bone (the bone of the skull) and
the mandible (the lower jaw bone) that come
together to make the TMJ (jaw joint) in front
of the ear.