Understanding and Treating TMJ Disorder Caused by Crooked Teeth
A temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder can make it painful to eat, yawn, or even talk. A dentist can help determine possible causes of your TMJ disorder and provide treatment to alleviate its symptoms.
Dr. Alex Hecht and Dr. Jason Hecht can treat TMJ disorders caused by crooked teeth. They’ve helped numerous TMJ patients in and around Staten Island, NY. If you suffer from a TMJ disorder (TMD) or suspect you do, we welcome you to schedule a consultation.
What Is the Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?
The jaw is connected on each side of the skull by the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The TMJ and the jaw muscles that accompany them make it possible for the jaw to move in different directions. This helps with biting, chewing, speaking, and making facial expressions.
When the jawbone and cranium are in proper alignment, the TMJ moves smoothly. When the jawbone and cranium are not properly aligned, it can cause a painful condition called a temporomandibular joint disorder.
Crooked Teeth and TMJ Disorders
Anything that affects the alignment of the jaw can cause a TMJ disorder to develop. For some people, crooked teeth may be the source of their TMJ disorder.
When people have crooked teeth, they sometimes chew in a way to accommodate for their alignment issues. In other words, one side of the mouth may experience more biting force than the other. This can throw off the alignment of the jaw and put stress on the TMJ and surrounding muscles. This can also contribute to teeth grinding (bruxism), which leads to additional stress on the jaw at night.
If left untreated, this tooth misalignment will eventually result in a TMJ disorder.
TMJ Disorder Symptoms Caused by Crooked Teeth
People with a TMJ disorder caused by crooked teeth may experience several symptoms such as:
- Pain or discomfort when chewing, talking, or moving the jaw
- Clicking or popping when moving the jaw
- Locking of the jaw
- Ringing in the ears
- Pain along the neck, shoulders, or back
Relieving TMJ Disorders Caused by Crooked Teeth
When a TMJ disorder is caused by crooked teeth, the common course of action at our Staten Island dental practice is to improve dental alignment. By correcting crooked teeth, it may be possible to reduce strain on the temporomandibular joint and alleviate the symptoms of a TMJ disorder.
Treating TMJ Disorders
Although correcting alignment can greatly help to alleviate TMJ disorder symptoms, there are several options that may also be used to provide further relief from TMJ disorder, including:
- Orthodontic treatment: Orthodontic treatment, such as traditional braces or Invisalign®, correct the alignment of crooked teeth. This can help evenly distribute bite forces and reduce stress on the temporomandibular joint.
- Wearing a night guard: A TMJ disorder can be exacerbated by clenching or grinding the teeth. Wearing a night guard to bed can help prevent clenching and relieve discomfort.
- Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers may be used with other TMJ disorder treatments to provide additional relief.
- Advanced care: If these treatments are ineffective, more advanced and invasive TMJ disorder treatments can be used.
Schedule a Consultation
If you live in or around Staten Island and would like to learn more about treatment options for TMJ disorder and crooked teeth, we invite you to call Dr. Alex or Jason Hecht at (718) 705-4434 or to schedule a consultation online.