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Blog Series – The jaw joint complex of the teeth, muscles and joints

June 22, 2020

There is an inter-relationship between the teeth and with muscles of mastication (chewing) and muscles of the neck and the temporal-mandibular joint (TMJ). This is due to the feedback loop that occurs between each structure.

The main drivers of the jaw joint complex are the muscles. The teeth, joint, bones and even the muscles themselves are all providing feedback to the brain. This enables the brain to co-ordinate or, if you like, conducts the orchestra of anatomy to achieve its goal – mastication or chewing.

However, as humans, we like to do things that upset this amazing performance. The brunt of the issues affects the muscles. Muscles throughout the body work in teams. Simply, one group of muscles contract while another group relaxes. When this does not happen we often call it terms such “a cramp”, “stiffness”, “pain”, can’t walk properly, and even “can’t open my mouth”. The technical term is called trismus.

Trismus with pain on trying to open

The jaw joint complex is really complex! There are many aspects of this complex that relate its main components the teeth, muscles, and joints that can really affect a person. Thankfully, it is treatable and even preventable.

Please enjoy the blogs on a part of the body that we always use and we can’t live without!

Mastication muscles - deepest view
X-ray of jaw joint closed position, then maximum open position
Sleeping on the back is best for a happy jaw joint and neck

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