The Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge that connects your lower jaw to the temporal bone in the base of your skull and allows us to chew properly. Problems with your jaw and the muscles in your face that control it are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Painful, clicky joints will most likely get worse with time. It is imperative that we stabilise a compromised joint before we carry out any irreversible orthodontic treatment. This is usually done by using an acrylic splint for a few months until the joints are healthy and stable.
In short, the important goals in orthodontic treatment (namely facial aesthetics, dental aesthetics, functional occlusion, periodontal health and TMJ health) are all based on a stable and healthy joint.
The Masticatory System
The masticatory system is a part of the body primarily responsible for chewing, speaking, and swallowing. It is comprised of your teeth, bones, muscles, ligaments, and the temporomandibular joints (TMJ’s). It is a highly complex system that requires a profound functional and anatomical understanding.
A good orthodontic treatment has to take all these structures into account and they all have to function in unison without any sign of breakdown, inflammation, or pain.