Can Braces Treat TMJ?

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If you don’t have straight teeth or experience a misaligned bite and you suffer from TMJ, braces or another type of orthodontic treatment might solve your TMJ issues. To determine if orthodontic treatment will resolve your TMJ symptoms, we must first evaluate your jaw to find the cause of your TMJ.

What is TMJ?

Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ/TMD, is a disorder that affects the joints located in your jaw that connects the skull to the jaw. This joint is responsible for all movements in your jaw including up and down and side to side. When the joint becomes dysfunctional or misaligned, it can have a huge impact on the surrounding areas of your body. To relieve symptoms caused by TMJ, patients must receive treatment to realign the joint or help it rest comfortably so it’s no longer dysfunctional.

Symptoms of TMJ

Most patients who suffer from TMJ will experience one or several of the following symptoms:

  • Jaw or neck pain
  • Frequent headaches or migraines
  • Ringing ears or tinnitus
  • Vertigo
  • Broken teeth, crowns, fillings, etc.
  • Clicking in the jaw
  • Earaches
  • Stiff jaw muscles
  • Pain when chewing

Causes of TMJ

Determining the cause of your TMJ is the best way to find a suitable treatment. At our Mohegan Lake dental office, we will give you a thorough examination to get started. This will include a physical exam and x-rays to look for any underlying problems. We will then use our TENS machine to relax your bite to its ideal position. Our ultimate goal is to help your jaw stay in this position through treatment. Treatment usually starts with wearing an orthotic at night to hold your joints and muscles in a healthy position. Over time, they will stay in this position.

When Braces or Orthodontics Can Treat TMJ

If we determine that your misaligned bite is causing your TMJ, we may recommend a complete orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth and align your bite. If you’re prone to grinding or clenching your teeth at night, simply realigning the jaws can prevent you from doing so in the future. It’s important to note that braces can’t always treat TMJ. Our TMJ dentists evaluate each patient on a case-by-case basis to find the best solution for their needs.

If you think you have TMJ and would also like to straighten your smile, visit Advanced Dentistry of Mohegan Lake for a TMJ consultation. We also offer several orthodontic options to choose from including Invisalign and functional orthodontics. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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