Braces are one of the most common and effective treatments for TMJ. If TMJ is caused by problems with the bite, the solution may be to straighten your teeth and align your jaws with braces. Orthodontic treatment can adjust the way the teeth are aligned relative to each other in both jaws, eliminating TMJ pain. Can Braces or Invisalign Correct TMJ Dysfunction? Technically speaking, they are an effective part of some comprehensive care plans.
We recommend that you contact our Barrhaven orthodontic practice to set aside time with us for a free consultation and to learn more. However, TMJ orthodontists do not accept the usual bite as the best functional bite for the patient. Instead, they determine the best ratio for the jaw joints and muscles to fit together. This is because a misalignment of the jaw often causes a TMJ disorder.
So let's get back to our first question: can braces or Invisalign help with TMD problems? There is a lot of scientific research on the effect of orthodontic treatment in relation to TMD, however, the evidence is not clear. I would never recommend to a patient with TMD problems that braces would fix everything. In my professional opinion, I believe that aligning your teeth and fixing your bite can have some benefits in keeping you pain-free. In my treatment of thousands of patients, I have noticed that patients with imperfect bites tend to show more wear on their teeth than patients with perfect bites, and this theory has been proven by some research.
Yes, braces can help TMD problems, but they are not a “guaranteed solution”. Advanced orthodontics prefer conservative and reversible treatments for TMD whenever possible. Because they are non-invasive, they do not cause any permanent changes in the structure or position of the jaw or teeth. Even patients with more persistent TMD symptoms will not need aggressive treatment most of the time.
Having a basic understanding of this relationship in a particular patient will help the TMJ orthodontist work out a better treatment plan. The biggest and most important difference is in the way each orthodontist treats their patient's bite. Traditional orthodontics may only focus on the available solution to straighten the teeth and occasionally expand the mouth, if necessary, before wearing braces. While there's nothing wrong with a traditional orthodontist, an TMJ orthodontist will provide you with the most specialized treatment plan you need.
With mild to moderate TMJ disorder, orthodontics guides the bite into alignment and, therefore, decreases stress within the jaw joints. Traditional orthodontists focus on the teeth, accepting the usual bite as the best functional bite position. Because joint disorders can be affected by the way teeth fit together, orthodontic treatments for TMJ cases are sometimes appropriate. Charles Cohen incorporates an TMJ exam into every orthodontic evaluation because of the association between joint disorders and tooth alignment.
That's why it's important to receive a proper diagnosis and proper treatment from an experienced orthodontist like doctors. However, if you have a TMJ disorder, going to any orthodontist could end up hurting rather than helping you.