Without being patronising, there is a good chance that a lot of people wouldn’t know where their temporomandibular or TMJ joint is in the body, let alone what it does, but they certainly would if it goes wrong.
The TMJ is the joint where the bottom and top jaws meet in the head- very tiny, and if you think about what it has to go through in the average day, you can start to see just how important it is. What you should do however is protect it from extra forces being place upon it for if this joint starts to go wrong, it can cause havoc throughout the upper body.
Firstly, the bite has to be correct and this is why you have your teeth straightened so that the jaws come together. If however you are of a ‘sporty’ nature, especially if you participate in contact sports, you are exposing your jaw to a lot of danger, which is why mouth-guards are worn to lessen any impact.
The biggest danger to the TMJ though comes from teeth grinding which is a result of stress and in a busy ‘go-get-it’ city like Leeds; there is a lot of that about. Grinding places enormous stresses on the jaw joint and if damaged- you’ll know if your jaw constantly aches or clicks- it may take some serious surgery to put right.