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The Temporomandibular Joint, Open

Profile of open mouth showing condyle gliding along the joint socket of the temporal bone

Title:
The Temporomandibular Joint, Open

Description:
When we open our mouths, the rounded ends of the lower jaw, called condyles, glide along the joint socket of the temporal bone. The condyles slide back to their original position when we close our mouths. To keep this motion smooth, a soft disc lies between the condyle and the temporal bone. This disc absorbs shocks to the jaw joint from chewing and other movements.

Credit:
NIDCR publication: TMJ Disorders

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This page last updated: January 06, 2014