A popping jaw. Sore mouth and teeth. Tension headaches. There are many symptoms that point to a problem with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), and these side effects not only cause pain but can damage teeth and overall oral health. Many patients are surprised to learn that a customized round of Invisalign can eliminate TMJ complications and deliver a healthy mouth for life.
What Causes TMJ Problems?
Before your dentist can figure out whether Invisalign will fix your TMJ problem, she must first identify where the pain is coming from. The TMJ are the small, triangular-shaped joints found in front of the ears that join the lower jaw to the temporal bone. In theory, this positioning should allow the mouth to open and close easily, but irritation or inflammation can develop because of:
- Grinding and clenching teeth
- Holding in the jaw
- Misaligned jaw
None of these problems are self-correcting. You need the help of an expert to diagnose the problem and treat the circumstances. For some people, the best fix is a round of Invisalign treatment.
Invisalign for TMJ Complications
Jaw misalignment is one of the most common causes of TMJ disorder. The most common way to correct this problem quickly is with a custom-made nightguard. However, some people don’t want to wear a mouthpiece to bed or run the risk of mouth and jaw pain if they forget their nightguard. They want a permanent solution – they want Invisalign.
- Through Invisalign, both the upper and lower jaw are repositioned to eliminate pain and discomfort.
- In the process, your teeth and entire smile look better too.
- Throughout the months of treatment, the aligners are worn for 20 to 22 hours a day – even while sleeping.
- The appliances act as a barrier like a nightguard, except they are on both top and bottom teeth and prevent them from scraping against each other.
- As time passes, teeth grinding and clenching subside as the bite becomes healthier and moves into alignment.
- Invisalign aligners essentially reprogram the muscles responsible for teeth grinding and relieve the TMJ problems.
Alignment Without Pain
Aligned teeth aren’t just about having a nice smile. They’re about having a healthy, pain-free smile too. Teeth that are straight are healthier, less likely to suffer from tooth decay and other problems, and usually free of TMJ problems.
The TMJ can open and close freely without pain or inflammation when teeth are in alignment, but when teeth are crooked, the joint simply does not work properly. This malfunction is what leads to irritation and soreness. With the help of Invisalign, this strain can be eliminated and the patient can get a gorgeous, straight smile at the same time.
Invisalign for a Healthy Smile
No matter what kind of alignment problem a person is suffering from, the solution of Invisalign will be carried out the same way – clear trays worn all day, every day, and only removed for meals. The treatment lasts about one year but could be a little longer or a little shorter depending on the complexity of a patient’s oral health problems.
Find out if you are suffering from a TMJ problem and if Invisalign is a viable correction for you. Schedule a consultation with certified Invisalign provider Dr. Charmaine Johnson in Fort Lauderdale at Premier Smile Center.