TMJ disorders can cause several problems with the jaw joint and your chewing muscles. Without treatment, the symptoms could continue and you could experience problems ranging from pain and misalignment of the teeth. If your dentist has diagnosed you with a TMJ disorder, here is what you need to know.
What Happens When You Have a TMJ Disorder?
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders usually result from bruxism. For instance, when you sleep, you might clench your jaw or grind your teeth. The cause of the disorder varies, but for many people, it co-occurs with another condition. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a commonly co-occurring disorder.
When you have a TMJ disorder, you could experience pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Sometimes, the constant grinding can cause the teeth to become misaligned. The misalignment can impact how you chew food and even the way you talk.
The impact of TMJ is not just experienced with your mouth. You can also have painful headaches, light sensitivity, ringing in the ears, and neck pain. As the disorder progresses, you could have trouble opening your mouth fully, hear a clicking sound when you eat, and have trouble swallowing.
How Is It Treated?
The treatment for TMJ disorders varies, but one of the most commonly used is Invisalign braces. The braces can help to correct a misalignment that results from the grinding or clenching. Before wearing braces, you will need to have a consultation with an orthodontist.
The dentist will need to determine the cause of the disorder and treat that before ordering the braces. Treatment for the cause can vary. For instance, if you clench your jaw in response to stress, the dentist might recommend finding ways to destress, such as yoga. He or she might even recommend therapy to deal with any emotional problems you are having.
Once the cause has been addressed, you can be fitted for the braces. As the braces work to correct the misalignment of your teeth, you should experience relief from other TMJ disorder symptoms, including pain. The realignment will prevent your jaw from becoming irritated.
Throughout the course of your treatment, you will have to be reassessed by the dentist and receive new Invisalign trays to help continue with the progress already made. Once your teeth are in the correct position, the dentist will likely have you wear a retainer for a period of time to avoid losing the progress that has been made. Contact a dental office, such as Desert Dental: Ruintan Kamran D.M.D., for more help.