Misalignment can be embarrassing and may cause Fort Worth, TX, residents to hide their smile from the world. However, poor alignment has also been linked to a serious jaw joint disorder. TMJ disorder, also known as TMD, can cause discomfort and may even be connected to teeth grinding. How does misalignment cause TMJ disorder, and what solutions do we offer?
Uneven Smiles and TMD
TMJ disorder develops when the jaw joints undergo excessive strain. These joints connect the skull and jaw and control necessary actions needed to eat and speak. The disorder could eventually make fully opening and closing the mouth a difficult task. The factors that cause the strain vary, but could include tooth loss, bite imbalance, stress, or injury to the face or jaw. One of the major causes, however, is dental misalignment. When we have crooked or crowded teeth, this could place enormous pressure on our jaw joints, leading to an increased risk of TMD.
The Dangers of TMJ Disorder
First, the disorder leads to a number of uncomfortable symptoms for some patients. Many report pain in the jaw or face, aches in the neck or shoulders, a popping or clicking in the jaw, and frequent headaches. Without treatment, these symptoms grow more severe. The disorder could also lead to bruxism, a disorder in which the patient regularly grinds or clenches the teeth at night, wearing them down and damaging them, increasing the risk of tooth decay, infection, or worn-down teeth. To protect the appearance and health of your smile, you should talk to us if you begin to experience these symptoms.
Treatment begins with a diagnosis. We need to assess the cause and severity of your TMD-related problems. Using advanced technology, we carefully examine your teeth for signs of wear and friction, and peer beneath the gums to examine your jaw joints. For some, treatment could involve orthodontics, such as braces or aligners, to correct misalignment and ease strain on the jaw joints. Others may benefit from TMJ therapy in which we create a custom-made oral appliance. Fitting like a mouthguard and worn at night, the device actually repositions the jaw to ease strain on the joints, limiting the occurrence of TMD and bruxism-related symptoms, and protecting the teeth from further damage. If you have any questions about TMJ therapy, then contact your team today!
Do You Have Popping in Your Jaw?
We have custom-made oral appliances and orthodontics to help treat your jaw joint issues and restore your smile’s health. To schedule your consultation and discuss TMD solutions, then please call Lake Country Orthodontics in Fort Worth, TX at (817) 236-7846. Our office proudly serves patients who live in Haslet, Azle, and all surrounding communities.