For many years, traditional metal braces were the most common option to correct orthodontic issues. Dental technology, specifically in orthodontics, has advanced throughout the years, and there are now multiple different methods available when it comes to treatment.
An orthodontic evaluation is the first step in learning more about treatment that can alleviate jaw pain. Though some people may take over-the-counter pain medication to deal with jaw discomfort, dentists can recommend orthodontic treatment, including the use of clear aligners, to alleviate symptoms related to TMJ. So, how do Invisalign clear braces connect to TMJ? Let’s start with the basics.
What is TMJ?
TMJ refers to temporomandibular joint dysfunction, a condition commonly caused by jaw misalignment. While the short-term side effects of TMJ can include discomfort and pain in the joint and facial muscles, the long-term effects can be a bit more serious.
What are the symptoms of TMJ?
TMJ can produce feelings of tenderness and pain in the jaw area. Symptoms of TMJ can cause trouble opening and closing the mouth and issues with chewing or swallowing. It is common to hear a popping or clicking sound in the jaw as well. Another symptom of TMJ is experiencing tension headaches, which usually occur from grinding the teeth.
Sleep bruxism is a condition in which you unconsciously grind or clench your teeth, which can cause enamel to erode, teeth to crack, and gums to recede. A potential method to avoid or correct this issue is by fixing jaw misalignment through orthodontic treatment.
What are the benefits of Invisalign treatment for TMJ?
Did you know that Invisalign is not exclusive to crooked or crowded teeth? It can also correct jaw misalignment issues that produce symptoms associated with TMJ. Invisalign clear braces work to realign upper and lower jaws, so there is less pain opening and closing the mouth.
The advanced treatment method can correct jaw misalignment and bite issues, which, in turn, could alleviate jaw pressure and discomfort.
What kind of results can be expected with Invisalign?
For patients who chose to invest in Invisalign clear braces, consistently wearing the aligners will ultimately impact the overall success of treatment. During Invisalign treatment, patients must wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours each day. The custom-made trays are designed specifically for the patient’s mouth, and throughout the treatment plan, they help slowly guide and shift teeth into their prescribed position. Invisalign trays are typically changed every two weeks as the teeth begin to move. Unlike a mouthguard, aligners will help realign the jaw while also eliminating the ability to grind or clench throughout the night.
Invisalign clear braces or traditional braces are not always the ideal treatment method for patients experiencing TMJ-related symptoms. It is essential to speak with your dentist to discuss possible treatment options. But a diagnosis of TMJ can allow patients to see if Invisalign clear braces treatment would be an effective way to alleviate any symptoms.