Anatomy and biomechanics of the temporomandibular joint
published in July - December 2022 - in Il Fisioterapista - issue n.2
Marco Pernici

The complex functional relationship between the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the many other adjacent structures has made it even more necessary to investigate their anatomical and physiological characteristics, functional biomechanics and regulatory mechanisms.
The TMJ is a double condylar joint that allows movements of the mandible. It is the only movable joint in the cranium. The fibrocartilaginous articular disc divides the articular cavity into two parts, a lower condylodiscal and an upper temporodiscal.
Due to the large amount of movements the TMJ performs throughout the day, it is extremely important that the disc is stabilized with the articular surfaces by a solid capsular ligamentous complex and well lubricated by synovial fluid to reduce frictional forces.
The movements allowed by the TMJ of depression and elevation, protrusion and retrusion, and lateral excursion of the mandible are enabled by the action of the masticatory muscles.