When a person experiences jaw pain and tenderness, they often assume they have a cavity or another tooth-related problem. While that certainly could be the cause, you may also be experiencing temporomandibular joint disorder, more commonly referred to as TMJ or TMD.
The temporomandibular joints located on both sides of your head where your jaw meets your skull. Every time you speak, chew, or yawn, these joints go to work. If either of these joints get out of line, you can start experiencing TMJ.
Symptoms of TMJ disorder can vary but typically include:
- Pain or tenderness in your jaw
- Pain in or around your ear
- Pain or discomfort when chewing
- Difficulty opening or closing your jaw
What Causes TMD?
The exact cause of TMJ disorder can vary between people and is often difficult to pinpoint. It can result from an injury or impact to your jaw, arthritis, and/or genetics. Those experiencing TMJ sometimes develop bruxism (teeth grinding) as a way of coping.
If you are experiencing pain in your jaw or teeth, you should visit a dentist. Though a dentist can’t treat TMJ, it’s possible that you actually have a tooth problem causing similar symptoms. Either way, a dentist should be able to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and advice for next steps.
Does Orthodontic Treatment Help with TMJ?
Though the specifics TMJ can vary from person to person, braces and other orthodontic treatment can often provide effective treatment. If your TMJ stems from misalignment, bite issues, or excessive grinding, braces can properly align your teeth, preventing excess stress and pressure on your jaw joints.
This should at least reduce TMJ symptoms, if not completely alleviate the condition.
If you’ve been diagnosed with TMJ, ask your dentist about orthodontic treatment. Even if they don’t completely alleviate your TMJ, they can reduce mouth irritation while improving your bite, smile, and overall confidence.
For an orthodontist in Springfield, Bellefontaine, and Beavercreek, Ohio, contact Dhingra Orthodontics. We provide a comfortable environment while utilizing the latest orthodontic techniques and tools. Find relief for your teeth and achieve the smile you were meant to have. Schedule a free consultation today!