Your TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is the hinge-like joint that is your jaw. When that joint malfunctions or gets inflamed, the condition is called TMJD, TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder.
Is there any connection between having crooked teeth and developing a painful jaw dysfunction?
Tooth Alignment Matters
Tooth alignment involves more than looks alone. The positioning of your teeth impacts the health of your entire mouth.
For example, cavity-causing bacteria can hide out in the tight spaces between overlapping teeth.
But the problems don’t stop there.
“Natural” tooth alignment isn’t something an orthodontist just made up. When teeth come in nice and straight, this allows them to equally interact in the chewing process. Straight teeth improve the function and balance of your bite.
How is Your TMJ Involved?
If crooked teeth are experiencing uneven pressure during biting and chewing, then this means that the joint moving those teeth is also affected.
Sometimes, a tooth out of alignment may meet the opposing teeth sooner than its neighbors. This can mean that the jaw is closing sooner on one side than on the other.
To illustrate, imagine what it would feel like to chew on just one side of your mouth all the time.
That’s what can happen to your jaw if crooked teeth are throwing your bite out of balance. One side gets worked harder than the other. Over time, the stress can lead to major problems.
What should you do?
If you suspect that you have any symptoms of TMD like pain, stiffness, or limited jaw opening, contact your dentist. Find out how your bite may be affecting your TMJ. Your dentist or orthodontist can use braces to correct bite problems that cause or aggravate TMD. Orthodontic treatment could be the ticket to a more comfortable smile.
Posted on behalf of:
Broad Street Braces
2010 South Juniper Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
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