El Paso, TX
A malocclusion, or misaligned bite, can result in some secondary complications. At Gross Orthodontics, our goal is to correct these types of orthodontic issues and improve your oral and overall health. Orthodontic treatment may be the ideal solution for problems that initially seem unrelated, such as TMJ disorders.
What Is the TMJ?
The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is one of the most complex joints in the body. This series of muscles, ligaments, discs, and bone serves as a sliding hinge. This sliding hinge motion allows you to move your lower jaw forward, backward, and side-to-side.
Any problem that prevents you from properly using your TMJ is known as a TMJ disorder or TMD. TMD can affect your ability to chew, speak, yawn, smile, and laugh. The symptoms of TMD can be quite painful and even affect your day-to-day life.
Symptoms of TMJ disorders include:
|Pain or tenderness in the jaw, neck, and shoulders
|Muscle stiffness in the jaw, neck, and shoulders
|Problems opening or closing your mouth
|Popping, clicking, or grinding noises when using your jaw
|Difficulty chewing, speaking, and yawning
|Swelling of the face or jaw
|An abrupt change in your bite (the way your teeth fit together)
What Causes TMD?
Diagnosing TMD can be difficult because it shares many symptoms with other health issues. For this reason, many dental professionals have a hard time determining the exact cause of the disorder. While the exact cause may be hard to pinpoint, many symptoms often stem from a misaligned bite.
Trauma or injury may also be a contributing factor for your TMD because it can cause misalignment. Other causes of TMJ disorders include arthritis, habitual teeth grinding, continuous clenching of the jaw, and other stress-related issues.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Amanda Gross will perform a comprehensive exam to determine the root cause of a particular symptom. Because TMD diagnosis can be challenging, your exam may include advanced imaging technology, such as digital x-rays or CBCT scans.
Orthodontic Treatments for TMJ Disorders
If your TMD is the result of a misalignment between your upper and lower teeth, you may qualify for orthodontic treatments. Orthodontics can be a conservative and minimally invasive approach to a problem that sometimes requires orthognathic (corrective jaw) surgery. One of the most effective treatments for TMJ disorders is braces.
When most people think of braces, they think of a straighter smile. However, braces are also an excellent way to correct your bite and relieve any painful symptoms. Braces can also be used to alleviate teeth grinding and jaw clenching, which is closely related to TMD.
If you are concerned with the cosmetics of traditional braces, we may recommend clear aligner trays. A series of clear aligners can move your teeth and correct your bite in a very discreet manner. Unless they look very closely at your teeth, most people will not even notice you are wearing an aligner!
Schedule Your Consultation Now!
If you suffer from problems with your TMJ, you may benefit from orthodontic treatment. Call 915-615-6767 for our West side office and 915-751-7779 for our Northeast side office to schedule your consultation today!