Dental Tips Blog


Can Crooked Teeth Cause TMJ Disorder?

Posted in TMJ Therpy

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


How to Prevent TMJ Problems

Posted in TMJ Therpy

Your TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is easy to take for granted until something goes wrong.

TMJ pain is almost impossible to live with. The discomfort can interfere with normal daily activities like chewing, yawning, talking, and laughing. To make matters worse, diagnosing the cause of a TMJ disorder and then treating it is very difficult.

So if you have no complaints so far, then now is the perfect time to make sure you’re taking good care of your jaw in order to avoid TMJ problems.


Stress is a major factor in TMJ issues. Tension can cause you to unconsciously clench your teeth and jaw muscles. This is just another great reason to make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep and eating well.

De-stress before bedtime with a cup of soothing herbal tea, a warm bath, or some relaxing music.

Get a Mouthguard

A teeth clenching and grinding habit taxes the TMJ and most often occurs during sleep. If you have this habit, then a night guard may help you limit the stress your jaw experiences.

Choose Not to Chew

Of course, you don’t want to never use your jaw. That would put on the fast-track to weakening. But it’s a good idea to occasionally evaluate just how much you work that joint.

Do you regularly chew on ice cubes from your drink? Do you constantly have a piece of gum in your mouth? When your jaw frequently engages in such activities, it can weaken and cause wear on the joint. Excessively strong cheek muscles can also put a strain on the TMJ.

How is your TMJ doing? Find out by scheduling a visit with your dentist or oral surgeon.

Posted on behalf of:
Les Belles NYC Dentistry
420 Lexington Ave #228
New York, NY 10170


Splint Therapy for TMJ Disorders

Posted in TMJ Therpy

Does TMJ pain have you aching all day long? Sore jaw muscles, or pain through the head, neck, and shoulders are all side effects of unmanaged TMJ disorder. Pain may cause chronic discomfort of the muscles, or just localized sharpness in the jaw. Surgery is often what most people consider as their only other option, but it can actually be much more effective to use non-invasive therapeutic  TMJ treatments such as bite splints.

Having a custom-made bite splint guides the lower jaw into a centric relationship with the upper portion of the jaw, reducing strain on the joint. This allows for rest of the tissues around the TMJ, and re-trains the joint. The splint will also prevent excess wear of the teeth, due to improper joint function or constant pressure on the tooth enamel. The theory behind this method is focused on creating a healthy jaw-tooth relationship that guides the joint into a healthy function each time it is put to use. Splints also prevent overuse of the joint, which is seen in people that grind or clench their teeth often. Instead, a resting space is made to reduce the pressure on the disc and ligaments in the joint, preventing clenching or grinding completely.

If conventional home treatments such as warm/cold compresses, anti-inflammatory medications, or relaxation exercises aren’t enough, then it’s time to ask your dentist about a TMJ splint. The small, non-invasive device can be worn during the day or while you sleep, and is easy to make. Why are you letting TMJ pain control your life? It’s time to control your TMJ pain!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Eberhard, Mockingbird Dental Associates



Neuromuscular TMJ Therapy

Posted in TMJ Therpy

Treating moderate to severe Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ / TMJD) can leave many people feeling like there aren’t a lot of options. At home treatments such as relaxation exercises, applying cold compresses, and avoiding hard-to-chew foods can only do so much. When the pain expands to the point where it causes muscle pain throughout the head and neck, people look to other options, only to find more invasive treatments such as surgery don’t have a very high success rate in the reversal of TMJD symptoms.

Thankfully, many TMJ disorder symptoms can be reversed by using neuromuscular therapy techniques. These treatments address the function of the joint. Some of these techniques involve using bite splints or orthodontic therapies to guide the jaw into the proper functioning position, with strain reduced, and pain alleviated. Bite splints may be worn at night for treating clenching and bruxism, or even during the day. Moderate to severe tooth misalignment can also create compromised functioning of the jaw, as it alters the natural function in order to accommodate biting and chewing of the teeth. Correcting the alignment of the jaws and teeth with orthodontics isn’t just for esthetics, it’s part of a comprehensive TMJ treatment plan and can even be effective for conditions like periodontal disease.

Neuromuscular therapy is regarded as an effective, non-invasive treatment for the alleviation of pain, symptoms, and causes of TMJ related disorders. To find out whether or not neuromuscular treatment is right for you, you’ll need to schedule a consultation with a neuromuscular dentist that provides treatment in that aspect of dentistry. Your consultation will include a clinical examination, x-rays, as well as an assessment of your current occlusal condition.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mitul Patel 



Bite Occlusion Dentistry

Posted in TMJ Therpy

Bite Occlusion Dentistry involves the diagnosis, assessment, treatment and long-term resolution of a wide range of bite problems.  Bite occlusion or malocclusion occurs when a patient’s teeth and jaw are not in proper alignment.  The misalignment causes the body to try to compensate for the misalignment resulting in a number of issues including headaches, migraines, pain in the sinuses or eyes, and Tempormandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ).  Additional symptoms of malocclusion include teeth, fillings and crowns, which may wear break or become loose.  Often teeth will ache or be tender.  Patients suffering from malocclusion may also experience pain in the neck, shoulders and back.  It is believed that it is also a factor in sleep breathing issues including snoring and sleep apnea.  If left untreated, it can indirectly cause tooth decay and periodontal disease, as the misalignment often prevents the teeth from being properly cleaned.

The treatment of malocclusion typically requires a combination of dental techniques including orthodontics, extractions and a series of adjustments performed by a skilled dentist, who is an expert in malocclusion.  Occasionally dental implants are used, as well as medication and changes to the patient’s diet.  Relaxation therapy and other therapies are used to relax tense muscles in the jaw, as well as to reduce stress-related clenching of the jaw.   In rare instances if the malocclusion is severe enough jaw surgery may be required.

When done properly, the teeth and jaw are properly aligned and the painful symptoms are often eliminated.  With so many treatment options there is no need to suffer form bite occlusion issues, when relief can be found by seeing a qualified dentist that is an expert in this form of dentistry.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Hamir Contractor, Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates



When to Wear a Night Guard

Posted in Mouth Guards

Night guards are used to help people avoid conditions like:

•           Chronic headaches
•           Teeth grinding
•           Premature dental wear
•           Broken dental restorations
•           TMJ disorders

Selecting when to have a night guard made by your dentist may not be a black and white decision. Some people come to their dentist because their loved one complains about the noises they make at night when they grind their teeth together. If left uncorrected, bruxism (grinding) can wear teeth abnormally, prematurely and compromise the stability of dental restorations.

If you wake up in the morning with a sore jaw, neck, shoulders or headache on a regular basis, you’re likely straining your jaws due to grinding or clenching during your sleep. This places excess pressure on your TMJ area and can damage the joint as well.

A custom fitted, professionally made bite guard can help you keep your mouth in a resting position during the night. Unlike over the counter guards, custom guards made by your Manhattan dentist will fit exactly to your mouth and stay securely in place. They are comfortable to wear and do not interfere with your sleep. What makes a night guard effective is its ability to prevent wear and pressure between the teeth as it repositions the jaw into a resting position. As a result, muscle tension and pain goes away on its own, and your teeth are protected from damaging themselves.

When you wear a night guard, you and your loved one will experience a better quality of sleep. The appliances are very easy to have made by your dentist and are typically ready at the same appointment or within just a few days depending on what type of device you select.

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