How Crooked Teeth Lead to TMJ Disorder

worried guy in thoughtAs an orthodontist in Ft. Worth, Dr. Ciro Cabal spends most of his time helping patients correct crooked teeth for more appealing, and better functioning, smiles. As he warns his patients, malocclusion can have dire consequences for your teeth, as well as the jaw that moves them. Teeth should erupt vertically (up and down) to comfortably meet the teeth on the opposite dental ridge when your jaw closes. When teeth erupt at an angle, or if the jawbone is congenitally crooked or asymmetrical, then your mouth can’t open and close as smoothly as it should. The imbalance is a common contributing factor to TMJ disorder, a dysfunction of your jaw’s joints, and realigning your teeth through orthodontic treatment may be the only way to relieve your jaw’s discomfort.

What is TMJ Disorder?

TMJ disorder describes a problem with your jaw’s temporomandibular joints, or TMJs. Located below and in front of each ear, your TMJs connect your mandible to the temporal bones in your skull. Along with the muscles that surround them, your TMJs are responsible for your jaw’s movement. When your bite is imbalanced, your TMJs may have to strain to keep it straight, and the undue pressure can damage the joints and lead to debilitating discomfort. Aside from jaw pain, TMJ disorder can also result in severe, chronic headaches, recurring earaches, tinnitus (ringing in one or both ears), and pain in your neck, shoulders, and back.

Crooked Teeth and Bite Balance

When perfectly aligned, your teeth can evenly distribute the pressure of your bite amongst themselves, minimizing the force that each tooth must bear. Malocclusion, or crooked teeth, can disturb this balance, placing some teeth under more pressure than they can withstand. Teeth can become excessively worn and may develop cracks and fractures from the pressure, in addition to damaged and painful jaw joints. By straightening crooked teeth, Dr. Cabal can help restore a proper balance to your bite, preventing extensive damage and allowing your TMJs to heal.

About Dr. Cabal:

Dr. Ciro Cabal is a dedicated family orthodontist who’s known a passion for providing dental care since his early teens, and continues to serves patients of all ages from Ft. Worth, Azle, Saginaw, Springtown, Weatherford, Haslet, and the surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call Lake Country Orthodontics today at (817) 236-7846.