Can Invisalign Help Relieve the Discomfort of TMJ?
The jaw pain, headaches, and other symptoms of TMJ disorders affect countless people. Those symptoms drive people to seek all kinds of potential solutions. However, the root cause could actually be improper bite alignment. In these cases, Invisalign can be one of the most effective treatment options.
What is TMJ?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. It’s the joint on either side of your face that attaches the lower jaw to the skull. The TMJ allows for the robust movements required for biting, chewing, and speaking.
The range of motion the TMJ provides requires a very complex structure. The joint allows for the opening and closing of the jaw, and it to slide side to side and forwards and backwards. There are also many ligaments, muscles, and nerves related to the TMJ.
Understanding TMJ Disorder
The complexity of the TMJ and the components surrounding it and supporting its function mean that many things can go wrong. These issues fall under the general umbrella of TMJ disorder, which could refer to problems with the joint, muscles, or nerves.
Jaw pain is one of the most common symptoms of TMJ disorder. Damage to the joint can cause pain when opening or closing the jaw, or chronic pain. Headaches are also a typical symptom, as the muscles supporting the joint spread throughout the face, back of the head, and neck.
In fact, you may even notice earache-like symptoms as a result of TMJ disorder. The joint is physically very close to the ear on the side of the face. This can lead to pain or pressure that is often misinterpreted as an ear issue at first.
The pain of TMJ can significantly impact your quality of life. It can make biting and chewing painful, potentially leading to malnutrition due to lack of improper chewing and avoiding eating.
There are a variety of different treatments for TMJ disorder. However, determining the specific treatment requires understanding the specific underlying issues in an individual case.
The relationship between TMJ disorders and bite alignment.
One of the most common factors in TMJ disorder is bite alignment. Your teeth should sit together a certain way when you bite, distributing pressure evenly and avoiding any problems. However, that isn’t always the case.
You can experience issues, such as overbite, underbite, crossbite, and crowding that make your upper and lower rows of teeth not line up properly. When you close your jaw, they can take on odd positions.
Those odd positions can lead to continuous stress on your TMJ and the muscles surrounding it. You can develop inflammation that causes chronic jaw pain or directly injure the joint due to uneven pressure.
What Invisalign does for your bite alignment.
The only way to discover the true cause of your TMJ disorder symptoms is to visit your dentist. They can evaluate your bite to determine whether there may be any problems. From there, you can take advantage of various orthodontic treatment options to correct your bite.
Today, Invisalign is one of the most popular options, especially among adult orthodontic patients. This treatment provides an alternative to traditional braces. Instead of dealing with brackets and wires, the customized clear plastic aligners guide your teeth into position, comfortably.
Invisalign can provide effective treatment for many types of bite and misalignment issues. Clear aligners may not be the right solution in every case, but they deliver the best patient experience and exceptional results whenever they are suitable.
Can Invisalign help relieve TMJ discomfort?
After your Invisalign treatment, your teeth will be properly positioned, and your bite should fit together perfectly. This will help alleviate your TMJ symptoms in several key ways.
With properly aligned teeth, forces will be evenly distributed when you bite and chew. Not only does this relieve stress on the jaw, but it also helps protect your teeth as well. Now, your jaw will comfortably sit when closed.
Clenching and grinding are also issues commonly associated with TMJ symptoms. Properly aligning your teeth through Invisalign can help relieve these issues. When your jaw can close properly during sleep, you’re less likely to shift its position trying to get comfortable.
Reducing the strain on your TMJ and the surrounding muscles can often provide lasting relief for TMJ symptoms. While there may be other factors to consider, dealing with bite issues is the first step in ensuring proper oral health.
How to start your Invisalign treatment.
If you’re concerned about TMJ disorders, bite alignment, or even just the appearance of your smile, then Invisalign clear aligners could be right for you. Visit your dentist in Lakeway, Texas, for a consultation to find out. Schedule your appointment with Tomasik Family Dental for Invisalign, and other effective treatment options for TMJ disorders.