Brace for Relief: The Impact of Orthodontics on TMD

September 15, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — wacofamilyteam @ 12:33 pm
A girl smiling, her braces finally providing TMD relief

For those who suffer from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD), jaw pain, headaches, and discomfort are the norm. If you’ve looked through the internet for TMD causes, you’ve probably landed on misaligned teeth a few times. If that is the case, can braces be the solution you’ve been looking for?

Well, it depends. Continue reading to learn more about TMD and how braces or other dental treatments can help you finally be free from pain.

What Is TMD?

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder affects the complex joints that connect your jaw to your skull. These joints are essential for activities such as chewing, speaking, and facial expressions. TMD can manifest as jaw pain, clicking or popping sounds when you open and close your mouth, headaches, and even facial discomfort.

How Can Braces Help TMD?

Braces are typically associated with straightening teeth, and it’s this property that can play a role in addressing TMD symptoms. When the cause of TMD is misaligned teeth or a problematic bite, braces might be a good solution. Here are a couple of examples of the types of issues braces can fix:

  • Teeth Alignment – Braces can gradually move your teeth into better positions, improving your bite alignment. This can reduce excessive strain on your temporomandibular joints, potentially alleviating TMD symptoms.
  • Bruxism – Malocclusions, or issues with how your teeth fit together when you bite down, can lead to teeth grinding, which is a common cause of TMD. By addressing these alignment problems, braces may help reduce the urge to grind your teeth, easing TMD-related pain.

Are Braces the Only Way to Treat TMD?

Not at all. In fact, it might be a better option to explore less invasive and more easily reversible options first. Here are some other treatments that could provide relief from your TMJ symptoms:

  • Orthodontic Appliances – In some cases, a removable orthodontic appliance may be used to adjust your bite or jaw position. These appliances can help improve your jaw function and reduce TMD symptoms.
  • Pain Medication – Over-the-counter pain relievers and muscle relaxers can help manage TMD-related pain. Your dentist may also recommend prescription medications in severe cases.
  • Lifestyle Changes – Lifestyle modifications can provide relief to TMD symptoms. Eating soft foods, avoiding extreme jaw movements, and practicing relaxation techniques to lower stress can help you recover from discomfort.

TMD can be a debilitating condition that affects your daily life. While braces may help address TMD related to misaligned teeth or a problematic bite, it’s important to consult with a qualified dentist or orthodontist to determine the most appropriate treatment for your specific case.

They can assess your condition and recommend a tailored approach to alleviate your TMD symptoms and improve your quality of life. Don’t hesitate to seek professional guidance to find the right solution for you.

About the Practice

At Heart of Texas Smiles General & Cosmetic Dentistry, their team of talented and professional dentists assess your needs and tailor your treatment plan to you. They believe in the power of education, helping you to understand your options and select the right one for your situation. To schedule a braces consultation call (254) 848-0240 or visit the website to dive into their other services.

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