Does your jaw pop when you chew? Do you get frequent headaches, particularly after eating? Does your neck hurt? If you say yes to any of these, you may be suffering from Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) Disorder. The good news is, orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign may improve your TMJ and relieve your pain.
Smith Orthodontics knows that a bad bite can make TMJ pain and deterioration worse, while a proper bite can help reduce or eliminate your pain. An incorrect bite can put added pressure on your TMJ and cause it to wear down and become inflamed. Correcting that bite eliminates the added pressure, giving your joints time to heal.
What causes TMJ disorder, and how do braces or clear aligners help? Let us explain!
What Is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ Disorder, sometimes called TMD or just TMJ, is a painful inflammation of the joint that connects your lower jaw to the rest of your skull. If your teeth are misaligned, it can put excess pressure on the joint and cause it to become inflamed.
TMJ Disorder Symptoms
Symptoms for TMJ Disorder may not be noticeable at first, but the longer you go without treatment, the more pronounced they become. That’s why you need to contact us at Smith Orthodontics as soon as possible if you’re in the Wichita, KS, area. We can treat your TMJ before it is damaged beyond normal treatment and possibly in need of surgery.
How do you know if you have TMJ Disorder?
Check for these symptoms:
- Popping jaw
- Locked jaw
- Jaw pain
- Neck pain
- Jaw fatigue during or after chewing
- Jaw tightness or stiffness
Treating Your TMJ With Braces
You don’t have to live with headaches, neck aches and jaw pain! We can offer several options to stopping the damage to your jaw joint and relieving your pain. We need to treat you as soon as possible before the joint becomes so damaged that it will require repair via surgery.
In some cases, a special mouthguard can keep you from grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw in your sleep, which could be a cause of your TMJ symptoms. Often, this is caused by stress. We may recommend stress-relieving techniques that can prevent tooth grinding.
Often, TMJ Disorder is the result of a bad bite because the teeth are misaligned. Our teeth are designed to fit together in certain ways when we chew. Correctly aligned teeth maximize chewing, which puts less pressure on the jaw. When the teeth aren’t aligned correctly, the added pressure causes TMJ Disorder.
This is how we can help! Smith Orthodontics can treat you with clear or metal braces, Invisalign, or 3M Clarity aligners. We can move your teeth back into their proper positions, which will relieve your pain and stop further damage to your temporomandibular joints. We can repair your overbite, underbite, crossbites, and crooked teeth so you can bite and chew properly. Not only should you have less jaw pain, but you may find you have fewer headaches, neck aches and even digestive problems.
Relieving TMJ Pain
It may take a while for your treatment to relieve your pain, but there are things you can do at home to alleviate your pain and reduce inflammation while your braces or clear aligners do their job.
- Ice the joint a few minutes each day
- Don’t chew on hard objects, such as ice, fingernails, pens, or pencils
- Avoid chewing gum
- Avoid hard foods, such as tortilla chips or hard candies
- Eat soft foods, particularly when your jaw is sore
- Try exercises to improve your joint, such as relaxing your jaw and touching your tongue to the roof of your mouth
TMJ Treatment in Wichita, KS
Smith Orthodontics is here to help patients in the Wichita, KS, area with your TMJ problems and other orthodontic issues. You can start by scheduling an appointment with us. Your first consultation is free and with no obligation! You shouldn’t have to live with TMJ pain. Let us help you ease that pain and get back to living life pain-free!