Caring for Face Pain and Sleep Apnea
Rich Hirschinger, DDS, MBA
Diplomate American Board of Orofacial Pain
9615 Brighton Way, Suite 323
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
888.981.8981
Appointment Request New Patient Forms Map and Directions
FacebookW.pngTwitterW.pngYouTubeW.pngSnagBlog2.pngReview Me on Yelp

TMJ Animation Images

The temporomandibular joint is a very unique joint. It is the only joint in the body that requires two joints to be moved and it is the only joint in the body that has two movements. A normal joint does not click. A clicking joint without pain does not necessarily need treatment other than a hard full coverage nighttime appliance. If you used to click but you no longer do and your opening is very limited compared to when it was clicking, you most likely have a "closed lock," meaning you cannot open very wide. If you are stuck open, you have an "open lock," which is usually very easy to treat.

Normal Functioning Jaw Normal Functioning Jaw

Normal opening: The disc, which is shown in yellow, is in the proper position and it glides forward and back when the jaw is opened. The above animation was developed by a medical illustrator under the guidance of Dr. Hirschinger.

Popping Jaw Popping Jaw

Popping or clicking jaw: The disc, which is shown in yellow, is forward of the jaw bone. When the jaw is opened, the disc clicks or pops, and then the jaw follows its normal opening. A pop or click can be heard when the jaw is closed. The above animation was developed by a medical illustrator under the guidance of Dr. Hirschinger.

Closed Lock Closed Lock

Closed lock: The disc is forward of its normal position and it prevents the jaw from fully opening. This is called a closed lock or anterior displacement without reduction. The above animation was developed by a medical illustrator under the guidance of Dr. Hirschinger.

Jaw Dislocation Jaw Dislocation

Subluxation or dislocation. If the jaw opens too wide, it can get stuck in the wide open position, which is called an open lock. A patient can rarely get the jaw closed, which is why you should call us if this happens to you. The above animation was developed by a medical illustrator under the guidance of Dr. Hirschinger.