Crooked Teeth and Your TMJ: Is There a Link?
Some people talk about having “TMJ” as a kind of jaw disease. Let’s take a look at what TMJ actually is and how your tooth alignment can affect it.
Understanding Your TMJ
TMJ stands for “temporomandibular joint” and is something everyone should have. Your jaw has two of these joints located at bilateral positions just in front of your ears. The joints are considered a combination of a hinge and gliding joint, giving it a wide and smooth range of motion. Within the joint is a complex network of tissues, fluid, and ligaments that support and move the jaw.
How does tooth alignment affect your jaw? Depending upon just how misaligned your teeth are, one side of your mouth may experience more biting force than the other side. An uneven bite puts strain on your jaw muscles and the joints in your jaw. Or, your jaw may be shifting too far forward when you bite.
Signs of TMJ Trouble
If your TMJ starts to bother you, that could be a sign of TMD: temporomandibular disorder. TMD can have a variety of causes, most of which are connected to stress or strain on the jaw. An uneven bite could be just such a source of stress.
Some signs that you should have your TMJ examined are:
- Ear or neck pain
- Aching in the jaw
- Unusual clicking or popping noises in the jaw
What Are Your Options?
At Paul Mathew D.D.S, Artisan Dentistry, we are pleased to offer you a comprehensive range of choices for addressing your TMJ concerns. Possible TMJ/TMD treatments for correcting your bite and relieving jaw pain include:
- Orthodontic treatment for adults
- Conservative, palliative therapies
- Jaw exercises and stretches
- Surgery (as part of an aggressive approach)
Ready to say goodbye to your jaw discomfort? Schedule a visit to have your bite evaluated and your TMJ assessed.