Temporomandibular joint - Definition

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The temporomandibular joint, or the TMJ, is a synovial joint that connects the lower jaw, or mandible, to the temporal bone at the temple, by a disc of cartilage. The temporomandibular joint allows various functions, such as swallowing, speech, yawning and chewing, through movements of the manducatory muscles. The temporomandibular joint can propel itself to either side, forward and backward, and up and down.