Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a very painful condition to live with, yet it is not always easy to fix. If you are tired of living with TMJ and want an effective way to treat and fix the problem, you might want to consider going to an orthodontist. Getting braces is one way to fix TMJ; although there are numerous other methods used for this. Here are several things you should know about TMJ, the available treatment options, and how braces can solve the problem.
What Is TMJ?
TMJ is a condition that affects the joints in your jaw. These joints are called temporomandibular joints, and these joints can lead to extreme pain when they are inflamed. TMJ can be caused by:
- A bite that is off
- Excessive clenching of the teeth
- Grinding of the teeth
If you have TMJ, you are likely to experience pain in these joints, which are located directly in front of your ears on your face. You may also experience problems opening your mouth, and TMJ can also lead to headaches, neck pain, and ear pain. Some people hear and feel popping when they open and close their mouth, while others may experience problems with their jaws locking up.
TMJ can either have mild symptoms or major ones. The treatment options used for this condition will depend on the level of problems you are having, as well as the cause of the TMJ.
How Is It Treated?
TMJ is something that can be treated in multiple ways, and in some cases dentists will recommend doing nothing. The pain you feel from TMJ is often caused by spasms in these particular muscles. Treating the spasms is often a good way to stop the pain from happening, and this is something you may be able to do by icing the muscles.
In other cases, dentists will recommend using a mouth guard to treat the problem. A mouth guard is used when you sleep to give your jaw a break. This will stop you from clenching and grinding your teeth, and it could solve the problem in an easy way. In other cases, dentists will recommend physical therapy to help train the muscles to react differently. There are also extreme cases when dentists recommend surgery to realign the jaw.
How Do Braces Help?
There are also times when dentists recommend braces to fix TMJ problems. Braces are typically known for being used to straighten teeth, but the other key goal of braces is to fix jaw alignment issues. When a person has an over bite, or any other type of bite issue, an orthodontist can correct it with braces, and the same principles can be used to fix TMJ.
Braces will move your teeth slowly over time, and an orthodontist can use the braces to move the teeth in a way that will relieve pressure on your jaw. To do this, the orthodontist will need to carefully examine your bite. This will help him or her determine how to move the jaw to relieve the pressure. In addition to helping solve your TMJ problems, getting braces will also help you achieve straighter teeth.
Braces are not always the solution for TMJ problems, but they can be a good option if the TMJ pain is being caused by your bite. To find out if this would be a good solution for you, contact an orthodontist.
If you would like to learn more about treating TMJ, contact your dentist or an orthodontist in your area. This will help you learn about your options for getting rid of the pain caused by TMJ. For more information, contact a practice like Aspen Orthodontics.