Do you find it difficult to eat crunchy food without jaw pain? Perhaps you wake up each morning with a sore or stiff jaw. While most TMJ pain is caused by oral habits like teeth grinding or jaw clenching, some patients suffer from TMJ symptoms from a misaligned bite. If poor tooth alignment is causing your TMJ disorder, you won’t be able to find lasting relief until you seek orthodontic correction.
Crooked Teeth Can Impact Your TMJ
How can misalignment affect your jaw? When teeth are lined up in a healthy and proper position, the upper and lower teeth can comfortably fit together when you bite down. However, when there are teeth that protrude or overlap, it can cause you to compromise the way you close your teeth or even prevent your jaw from fully closing.
In doing so, your TMJ (or jaw joint) must work harder to overcome the misalignment. This puts extra strain and pressure on the TMJ and the surrounding muscles, ligaments and nerves. It only takes one or two teeth to throw off a comfortable and well-aligned bite and cause irritation and swelling in your TMJ. This is typically a discomfort that is felt over time.
Orthodontic Correction and Jaw Pain Relief
You may assume orthodontics is simply to improve the appearance of your smile. However, a straight set of teeth can also ease TMJ discomfort for certain patients. Your teeth and jaw joints must work together to provide smooth, efficient and painless dental function. If the teeth are out of place, it can cause TMJ symptoms such as jaw pain, jaw clicking/popping/locking, tension headaches, neck pain, ear pain and more.
If you suspect that crooked teeth or a misaligned bite is contributing to TMJ symptoms, please call our dental experts at the office of Dr. Tejal Kakade. We offer customized TMJ treatment so that your smile can reach its full potential without pain. When it comes to poor alignment, our office can offer proven orthodontic therapies such as Invisalign clear aligner therapy for a more convenient and discreet solution compared to metal braces.