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Can Invisalign Help with TMJ Disorder?

May 2, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — dthouston @ 6:05 pm
a closeup of a patient holding their Invisalign aligner

Invisalign is one of the hottest dental treatments around, and many patients recognize these clear aligners as a quicker and more subtle alternative to traditional braces. However, some wonder if Invisalign can be used to address other issues, including those that affect their temporomandibular joints (also referred to as TMJ disorder). Keep reading to learn more about why these types of issues should always be resolved and how Invisalign can help!

Common Causes for TMJ Problems

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint; you have one of these joints on each side of your jaw and they’re responsible for connecting it to your skull and granting it an impressive range of motion. However, due to the inherent complexity of these joints, they’re also susceptible to a wide array of problems, referred to collectively as “TMJ disorder or TMD.”

There are many reasons for a patient to develop TMD, including things like muscle tension, arthritis, bruxism (teeth grinding), or even physical trauma. Women during their childbearing years are also at a higher risk for these types of issues due to magnesium deficiency. But in the majority of cases, the main cause has to do with bite misalignment. When your upper and lower teeth don’t fit together properly, extra pressure is placed on your jaw, which can cause muscle aches, jaw pain, headaches, and several other uncomfortable symptoms.

How Invisalign Can Help

Historically, patients have turned to Invisalign to achieve straighter and more pleasing smiles without the hassle or commitment of metal braces; however, thanks to advancements over the years, Invisalign can now be successfully employed to assist with bite misalignment issues that contribute to TMD. By utilizing gentle, targeted pressure, the aligners can shift the patient’s teeth and bite alignment alike into an ideal, healthier position.

Your dentist will need to inspect your situation beforehand to determine if Invisalign is a good option for you; in the most severe cases, surgery might be required, but for many mild to moderate bite issues that contribute to TMD, like crossbites, overbites, and underbites, customized Invisalign treatment can be effective. It’s worth noting that your TMD symptoms won’t immediately disappear, but by adhering to your treatment guidelines, you’ll see and feel improvement in time.

TMD can be quite uncomfortable and debilitating, but it’s not something that you have to needlessly endure! Fortunately, there are many effective and accessible treatment options for handling the issue, and for many patients, Invisalign is the answer.  

About the Author

Dr. Chris Johnson received his DDS from the Texas A&M College of Dentistry and has proudly served patients and families in the Houston area for several years! His practice offers a wide range of services including options like Invisalign. If you have any questions about the blog or you’d like to schedule a visit for you or a family member, feel free to contact the practice online or over the phone for additional information or assistance. Telephone: (713) 229-8100.

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