Define Jaw

Discover the functions, disorders, and impact of the jaw on daily life. Learn about common issues like TMD and bruxism, along with statistics and case studies.

What is the Jaw?

The jaw, also known as the mandible, is the bone that connects to the skull at the temporomandibular joints. It plays a crucial role in various functions such as eating, speaking, and facial expressions. The jaw is made up of two parts – the upper part called the maxilla and the lower part called the mandible.

Functions of the Jaw

The jaw is responsible for a range of functions essential for daily life:

  • Biting and chewing food
  • Speaking and enunciating words
  • Sustaining facial expressions
  • Supporting the teeth and gums

Common Jaw Disorders

There are several common disorders that can affect the jaw, including:

  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Jaw dislocation
  • Lockjaw

Examples of Jaw Issues

One example of a jaw issue is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD), which causes pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and muscles that control jaw movement. Another common example is bruxism, a condition where individuals grind or clench their teeth, leading to pain and damage in the jaw.

Case Studies

A study published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation found that individuals with TMD had significantly higher levels of pain, disability, and psychological distress compared to those without the disorder. Another case study showed that treating bruxism with a night guard helped alleviate jaw pain and discomfort in patients.


According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, around 10 million Americans are affected by Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). Additionally, a study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association estimated that approximately 30-40 million Americans suffer from bruxism.

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