The alignment of your teeth affects more than just the quality of your smile. Crooked teeth can be harder to clean, and can affect your ability to comfortably bite and chew. Malocclusion is a term for when your teeth do not line up properly when you bite down. An uncomfortable bite can contribute to TMJ dysfunction, a problem with your jaw joints that can cause chronic discomfort. If you have troubles opening and closing your mouth, or if you regularly suffer pain in your face and neck, it could be a sign of TMJ dysfunction. While there is no single issue that causes this uncomfortable condition, a misaligned bite may be a contributing cause.
Malocclusion can cause you to make unnatural movements when you bite. Over time, this misalignment can tax your TMJs, and lead to TMJ dysfunction. Your orthodontist can use advanced technology to study your bite, and can also provide an oral splint to help with the discomfort.
Other Issues That Can Contribute To TMJ Problems
Malocclusion is not the only condition that can lead to TMJ issues. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can put pressure on your TMJs, and lead to problems. Other causes include stress, an injury to your jaw, or arthritis in your jaw joints.
Less Conspicuous Orthodontic Treatments For Adults
If you want to remedy crooked teeth to address bite problems, but worry about its cosmetic impact, there are esthetically pleasing alternative approaches. Bracket-and-wire braces can be made with ceramic brackets, which blend with your teeth, making them less visible when you smile.