The Ins & Outs of TMJ

The Temporomandibular Joint: Broken Down By Your Local El Paso Dentist


The temporomandibular joint commonly referred to as TMJ is located in front of your ear where the skull and the lower jaw meet. This joint is what connects your jaw to your skull and allows your lower jaw to move and function. Experts have determined that the TMJ is the most used joint in the body.

TMJ Structure


The TMJ has six main components:

  1. Condyles process – contributes to the ability to rotate your head

  2. The articular surface of the temporal bone – smooth, fibrous disc in between joint bones

  3. Capsule – thin, loose envelope attached to mandibular fossa and articular tubercle

  4. Articular disc – thin, oval plate which allows for joint movement

  5. Ligaments – help define the joint movement

  6. Lateral pterygoid – the muscle that allows us to open our jaws

What Causes TMJ Syndrome

The temporomandibular joint syndrome is a disorder of the nerves in the jaw and chewing muscles. This syndrome can be caused by misaligned teeth that force the jaw to rest in a way that causes stress to the ligaments within the joint. Other things that contribute to TMJ syndrome or developing TMJ syndrome include, but are not limited to:

  • Teeth or jaw injury

  • Teeth grinding

  • Poor posture

  • Stress

  • Arthritis

  • Chewing gum & more

Signs & Symptoms of TMJ Disorder


Many people who suffer from TMJ disorder are said to experience tooth sensitivity or gum recession. Other indicators that you may be suffering from this disorder can be:

  • Pain in the jaw joint

  • Ear pain

  • The clicking of the jaw or popping sounds in the ear

  • Stiff or sore jaw muscles

  • Headaches

  • Jaw locking

Treating TMJ Syndrome with FOSA


Treating TMJ syndrome is easy! At Picasso Smiles, we can provide a custom made Face Orthopedic Stabilization Appliance (FOSA), which helps relieve pain. This premier dental appliance is made unique to each patient and their facial structure. This device is worn at night while sleeping, is very effective while also easy to clean and maintain.

Contact Your Dentist in El Paso


If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, you no longer have to suffer. Contact Picasso Smiles Dental at our Westside or Eastside office and let us help put a healthy, genuine smile back on your face. We will set an appointment for you to meet with one of our highly trained and experienced El Paso dentists that best fits your schedule and in no time at all, you will be TMJ syndrome free!

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