Temporomandibular joint problems or TMJ for short, can occur for a number of reasons. No one knows the actual reasons for TMJ problems, but it is thought that up to three out of four Americans suffer from these problems. Though experts say that only 5 to 10% of these people actually need treatment, it is nevertheless an issue which concerns people worldwide.
Some of the possible causes of TMJ problems can include dental malocclusions, congenital abnormalities, or problems with inflammation, arthritis and traumatic injury to the jaw. The growth of tumors, infections may also cause laxness or tightness in the jaw that can lead to TMJ problems. Some of these problems are congenital with other problems occurring later in life. Habits such as clenching of the mouth, teeth grinding or chewing gum can also lead to such problems. Competitive eaters in general are at a high risk of suffering from overused injuries with their jaws.
TMJ problems are not just caused by physical factors. Psychological factors such as stress can add unwanted stress to the jaws exacerbating TMJ problems. If you are suffering from these problems, you should mention them to your orthodontist in New York when considering Invisalign solutions.
The reason for that is that Invisalign brackets will change the spacing of your bite due to the retainers in your mouth. If you are suffering from TMJ problems when you are getting fitted for Invisalign, the retainers could make the problems worse. It’s important to keep in mind that this is not just related to Invisalign. Any dental work that puts significant strain and pressure on your mouth can lead to additional problems with your temporomandibular joint.
When you discuss these issues with orthodontists, they will make an assessment of the work that needs to be done in order to fix your TMJ problems before any treatment can occur. If your orthodontist believes that your TMJ problem can be alleviated through Invisalign, we suggest that you seek a different opinion. Though it is possible that TMJ problems can be fixed by the inclusion of braces, there are usually other underlying factors that need to be addressed before braces can be put into place. This will be extremely frustrating for you because this will delay your treatment. However, if you do not address the TMJ problems, you may be setting yourself up for a lifetime of discomfort down the road.
Many times TMJ problems will go away with rest and time. In rare cases however, your orthodontist will recommend you to an oral surgeon to perform surgery to help alleviate your issues. This healing time for such problems can range from a couple of months to several years. It is usually done before you have braces installed in your mouth, however in certain cases if your orthodontist determines that because of your TMJ problems is a result of a problem with your teeth such as teeth crowding, then you may have simultaneous treatments.