Why TMJ Noise Is Important | Cosmetic Dentistry
The tempormandibular joint (TMJ) is a very complex joint. It works for opening and closing the jaw, for moving the jaw to the right and to the left, as well as for moving forward and backward. This wide range of motion allows speech, yawning, as well as biting and chewing food. These various movements are the result of a uniquely designed joint.
The TMJ is actually the first joint of the body to be encountered moving in the direction of the head towards the feet. The TMJ consists of 2 parts with bones, the tubular process of the lower jaw and the glenoid light of the temporal bone of the skull. Between the tubercle and the iliac fossa is the articular disc consisting of soft cartilage. The disc is held in place by the ligaments and muscles that connect it to both the tubercle and the glomerulus. The posterior or posterior disc is vascular and nerve tissue.
In a TMJ that is quiet, as the mouth opens, the envelope rotates and moves down and forward through the glenoid fossa. The small muscles pull the disc down and forward, keeping the disc in place between the tubercle and the skull. When the mouth is closed, the disc slides back along with the envelope into its normal position in the fossa. There are no obvious noises.
In a hinge where the septum is positioned posteriorly or pushed back, there may be no disc space between the septum and the fossa. In this case the disc can be pushed forward or to the side of the tuber. As the mouth opens and the fund goes down, the room expands for the tray. The muscles and ligaments attached to the disc hold it in place. This animation often creates a common sound known as click or pop that can be loud enough to be heard by others. As the mouth closes, the disc is pushed again and may make another click or sound. This is a traumatic event for the joint and can eventually cause irreversible damage by tearing or puncturing the joint disc.
Another non-unusual sound coming from TMJ is the creep. Crepitus is often described as sandpaper as sound. Crepitus is associated with arthritic changes in the joint and often with perforation of the disc that allows the bones to come into contact with the bones when the mouth is opened and closed.
When the sounds of the joints are visible, it is most often associated with a retracted mandible, where the tubers are placed posteriorly. Although joint sounds are not always accompanied by pain, they may be a sign of future TMJ symptoms, such as migraines, headaches, dizziness and ear congestion. Joint sounds can also be a prognostic factor for airway obstruction and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Normal Neuromuscular Dentistry offers a predictable solution for clicking and popping joints throughout the day.