Dental Tips Blog

Aug
5

Can Braces Cause TMJ Problems?

Posted in TMJ Therpy

Some braces wearers are convinced that braces are the cause of their jaw pain. Can braces actually cause TMJ pain, however?

What Is TMJ?

TMJ is the“temporomandibular joint.” That’s the ball-and-hinge joint that connects your lower jaw to the rest of your face. Your TMJ is responsible for actions such as chewing, speaking, and yawning.

If you experience any pain or hear clicks or pops when you move your jaw, then you may have TMJ disorder or temporomandibular disorder (TMD).

What Causes TMJ Disorder?

There is no single cause of TMJ disorder or TMD. Most of the time, degeneration seems to result from unusual wear and tear or overuse.

For example, people who grind or clench their teeth or chew a lot of gum tend to have TMJ issues.

Teeth that don’t fit together correctly can put more strain on one side of the jaw than the other. So, it is possible for crooked teeth to cause TMJ pain. But straightening teeth with braces can help to make it better.

Braces put pressure on teeth alone. They don’t need any leverage from the jaw joint to work. If anything, straightening teeth may help balance out the bite and take some stress off the TMJ.

The Painful Facts of Braces

Although they don’t cause TMJ, braces can cause some soreness. The metal brackets and wires are sharp on soft tissue like lips and cheeks. Pressure put on the tooth roots can make the gums and bone around teeth sore, but it shouldn’t affect the TMJ.

Do you want to minimize braces pain? Are you wondering if you suffer from TMD? Get answers to these questions and more by visiting your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
West Hill Family Dental
132 New Britain Avenue
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
(860) 563-3303

Sep
19

Is Jaw Alignment Surgery Right for You?

Posted in TMJ Therpy

A misaligned jaw is when the mandible is too big or too small to evenly line up the upper and lower teeth. Sometimes, the upper arch is at fault. Either way, it’s a bad bite that can’t be corrected by straightening the teeth with orthodontics.

The solution is to surgically correct the jaw positioning.

Do you think that you or a family member may need jaw surgery?

Signs You May Need Jaw Alignment Treatment

  • Excessive enamel wear
  • Open bite (upper and lower teeth do not meet)
  • Jaw protrudes out
  • Chin is receded into your neck
  • Chronic dry mouth
  • Difficulty keeping lips closed together
  • TMJ pain
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Sleep apnea
  • Facial imbalance

What You Should Know About Jaw Surgery

Realigning your jaw isn’t something you can just opt for in hopes of improving your facial profile. It’s far more than a cosmetic procedure.

Jaw alignment surgery tends to be a last resort since it’s so drastic. Dentists and oral surgeons will only recommend it once it’s clear that braces will be insufficient to correct your bite. Additionally, surgery is indicated if poor jaw alignment causes intense pain or affects the way your TMJ functions in daily life.

Opting to have jaw surgery isn’t an overnight process. You may need to have some orthodontic treatment before the operation as well as afterwards. It can take years to see the results you want, so you have to be patient and be willing to invest in the time required.

Professional Jaw Evaluation

If you want to find out whether jaw alignment surgery is a reasonable treatment option for you, then contact an experienced oral surgeon in your area for a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 953-1752

Jun
9

What Is a Bite Adjustment?

Posted in TMJ Therpy

A bite adjustment is what it sounds: your dentist will make changes to the way teeth fit together as you bite.

The adjustment could be very small, such as filing away excess enamel. Or it might be part of a much bigger project to stabilize your bite with multiple crowns.

Why Get An Adjustment?

Your teeth are supposed to contact each other just so. If they’re off by even a little bit, you could experience some discomfort. Your smile might also suffer permanent damage that you’re not even aware of.

A bite adjustment is not the same as getting braces. It’s very possible (and common) for teeth with great alignment to not make contact at the right points. In fact, it’s not unusual to need just such an adjustment after braces come off.

What could cause your bite to be off:

  • Damaged or improper restorations
  • Teeth out of alignment
  • Missing teeth
  • Jaw size
  • Jaw positioning
  • Tooth shape and size

How Do You Know If You Need A Bite Adjustment?

You won’t necessarily be in pain. Most folks aren’t aware they need an adjustment until their dentist mentions it. After it’s fixed, they notice the difference.

Your dentist will help you spot signs such as loose, worn, or chipped teeth, gum recession, sensitivity, and TMJ issues.

He or she will probably have you bite down on a piece of colored dental paper that leaves marks on chewing surfaces. This shows if some teeth have more surface area contact than others.

X-rays, models, and other scans, will help your dentist assemble a plan of what needs correcting.

Think your bite is off? Call your dentist today for instructions.

Posted on behalf of:
Avalon Dental Group P.C.
2205 Williams Trace Blvd #108
Sugar Land, TX 77478
(281) 240-5559

Sep
10

3 Signs of TMJ Disorder

Posted in TMJ Therpy

TMJ is an abbreviation for “temporomandibular joint.” A disorder of the TMJ is any condition in which the muscles and/or the joint itself is impaired by pain or dysfunction. TMJ disorder is common and difficult to specifically diagnose. These disorders are often treated with palliative measures to relieve tension and pain.

Do you worry that you may suffer from complications with your TMJ? What are the signs of a TMJ disorder?

1.-Locking or limited movement of the jaw

A click or a pop on opening the jaw is normal for some people. Many times, unusual motion or noise is inexplicably characteristic to a certain patient’s individual anatomy. If you notice a change, however, in the way your jaw feels or functions, that could be a sign that your TMJ is symptomatic.

2.-Pain in the jaw or the surrounding muscles while chewing

This is the most common sign of TMJ disorder. Your jaw needs to move naturally, often, and comfortably to enable you to do normal activities such as speaking, eating, and yawning. Any pain while opening your jaw is not normal and should be addressed.

3.-Pain that extends from the jaw into the head, neck, mouth and ear

Some patients with persistent headaches, neck pain, or an inexplicable earache have found the source to be radiating out from a dysfunctional TMJ.

TMJ disorders can be caused by many factors. If your TMJ is bothering you, a careful examination of your medical and dental history may yield some clues. For some patients, arthritis can affect their TMJ. Other cases are attributed to stress on the muscles through excessive grinding and clenching.

Talk with your dentist for help along the journey to finding relief for TMJ discomfort.

Posted on behalf of:
Family & Cosmetic Dental Care
2627 Peachtree Pkwy #440
Suwanee, GA 30024
(770) 888-3384

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