QS Study

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts as a sliding hinge, connecting our jawbone to our skull. It lets us move your jaw up and down and side to side, so you can talk, chew, and yawn. It is located anteriorly to the tragus of the ear, on the lateral aspect of the face.

Articulation between:

Above: Articular tubercle & the mandibular fossa of the temporal bone.

Below: Head of the mandible.

Type of joint: a Condylar variety of synovial joint.

Capsule: Surrounds the joint.

Ligaments –

  • Lateral ligaments – It is a thickening of the joint capsule, and acts to prevent posterior dislocation of the joint.
  • Sphenomandibular ligaments – It originates from the sphenoid spine, and attaches to the mandible.
  • Stylomandibular ligaments – Along with the facial muscles, it supports the weight of the jaw.
  • Articular disc – It is formed by the articulation of the mandible and the temporal bone of the cranium.

Synovial membrane – Lines the capsule in the joint cavity.

Temporomandibular Joint 1

Fig: Temporomandibular Joint

Blood supply

Arterial supply: Branch from –

  • Superficial temporal artery.
  • Maxillary artery, branch of the external carotid artery.

The arterial supply to the TMJ is provided by the branches of the external carotid, principally the superficial temporal branch.

Venous drainage: Into corresponding veins.

Nerve supply

  • Auriculotemporal: Its articular twigs go into the joint from its posterior aspect.
  • Masseteric branch of mandibular nerve: Their articular twig goes into the joint from its anterior aspect.
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