How Braces Can Improve Your TMJ

Posted on: 14 February 2018

Temporomandibular joint disorder can cause a great deal of pain and stiffness for its sufferers. If you're having problems with your temporomandibular joint, you might be interested to know that braces could potentially improve your situation. Read on to discover the way that braces make it easier for people with TMJ to bite, chew, yawn, and do anything that uses the temporomandibular joint.

How TMJ Works

Temporomandibular joint disorder can be caused by a wide variety of things, from traumatic injuries to simple growth disorders. Regardless of the cause, however, temporomandibular joint disorder always involves the joint itself not functioning properly. It may have impaired flexibility due to scar tissue, or be poorly aligned due to the way the jaw developed, or it may be lacking in supportive cartilage that helps to keep bones from rubbing together.

How It's Made Worse

Regardless of the cause of your TMJ, the situation is made worse when extra pressure is applied to the joint. Since the joint acts like a hinge for your mouth, anything that adds additional stress to the joint will increase the risk of pain, stiffness, and potentially prevent the joint from operating normally. This is the main reason why people often develop temporomandibular joint disorder after having traumatic injuries, like after a car crash.

However, a severe injury isn't necessary to put additional strain on the joint. If your jaw is misaligned or misshapen, you may be applying too much pressure to the joints which can worsen your situation the same way.

Correcting Bite Pressure

The main way that braces can help you with this problem is by reducing the pressure applied to your temporomandibular joints.

If your jaw is even slightly out of alignment or your teeth are crooked, the pressure on your jaw isn't distributed evenly. This can make one or both joints more painful and inclined to be stiff or sore.

Braces fix this problem by gently correcting the alignment of your teeth, putting them back where they should be. Once your smile is corrected, you will bite evenly when you eat and when you clench your teeth together. Both joints will experience pressure evenly, which will help to reduce strain from being placed on one or the other and making your mouth feel miserable in the process.

Temporomandibular joint disorder is a major discomfort for those who suffer from it, but that doesn't mean that it can't be made better. If you're tired of dealing with the pain and stiffness TMJ can cause, talk to a dentist about adult braces.


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