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Temporomandibular (TM) Joint

Picture of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)

Illustration copyright 2000 by Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

The temporomandibular (TM) joints join the skull and lower jawbone (mandible). These gliding "ball and socket" joints are located just in front of each ear, and they move when a person opens and closes his or her mouth.

The TM joints are stabilized by muscles that attach directly to the jawbone. They are separated by a disc made of cartilage, which keeps the two bones from rubbing together.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerArden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
Last RevisedJanuary 11, 2012

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