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Anatomy for Dental Students$
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Martin E. Atkinson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199234462

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199234462.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 January 2022

The temporomandibular joints, muscles of mastication, and the infratemporal and pterygopalatine fossae

The temporomandibular joints, muscles of mastication, and the infratemporal and pterygopalatine fossae

(p.241) 24 The temporomandibular joints, muscles of mastication, and the infratemporal and pterygopalatine fossae
Anatomy for Dental Students

Martin E. Atkinson

Oxford University Press

It is essential that dental students and practitioners understand the structure and function of the temporomandibular joints and the muscles of mastication and other muscle groups that move them. The infratemporal fossa and pterygopalatine fossa are deep to the mandible and its related muscles; many of the nerves and blood vessels supplying the structures of the mouth run through or close to these areas, therefore, knowledge of the anatomy of these regions and their contents is essential for understanding the dental region. The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the only freely movable articulations in the skull together with the joints between the ossicles of the middle ear; they are all synovial joints. The muscles of mastication move the TMJ and the suprahyoid and infrahyoid muscles also play a significant role in jaw movements. The articular surfaces of the squamous temporal bone and of the condylar head (condyle) of the mandible form each temporomandibular joint. These surfaces have been briefly described in Chapter 22 on the skull and Figure 24.1A indicates their shape. The concave mandibular fossa is the posterior articulating surface of each squamous temporal bone and houses the mandibular condyle at rest. The condyle is translated forwards on to the convex articular eminence anterior to the mandibular fossa during jaw movements. The articular surfaces of temporomandibular joints are atypical; they covered by fibrocartilage (mostly collagen with some chondrocytes) instead of hyaline cartilage found in most other synovial joints. Figures 24.1B and 24.1C show the capsule and ligaments associated with the TMJ. The tough, fibrous capsule is attached above to the anterior lip of the squamotympanic fissure and to the squamous bone around the margin of the upper articular surface and below to the neck of the mandible a short distance below the limit of the lower articular surface. The capsule is slack between the articular disc and the squamous bone, but much tighter between the disc and the neck of the mandible. Part of the lateral pterygoid muscle is inserted into the anterior surface of the capsule. As in other synovial joints, the non-load-bearing internal surfaces of the joint are covered with synovial membrane.

Keywords:   articular disc, black eye, cavernous sinuses, dentures, facial veins, general anaesthesia, inferior alveolar nerve, lacrimal glands, mandibular canal

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