Crooked teeth can leave you feeling self-conscious about your smile. This can lead to shyness and even impact your professional life. Beyond aesthetics, crooked teeth can also contribute to a number of dental problems, including TMJ disorders. That’s why Dr. John P. Goodman offers TMJ treatment to minimize jaw pain and restore range of motion at his Kansas City, MO practice.
We’d like to explore the link between crooked teeth and TMJ disorders below. You may not have realized just how interconnected the different parts of your mouth truly are.
Crooked Teeth Can Throw Off Dental Alignment
If you have crooked teeth, it can throw off the balance and overall alignment of your bite. This can lead to soreness when you bite and chew, and put strain on the jaw as well. Yet this isn’t the main reason that TMJ disorders can stem from crooked teeth.
Issues with Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
If your teeth are crooked, it can be difficult for your jaw to find a comfortable at-rest position during sleep. During sleep, the jaw will wind up shifting, clenching, and grinding in search of a comfortable position. This is known as teeth grinding, and it can lead to tooth damage, gum recession, headaches, earaches, and jaw pain. Stress can contribute to teeth grinding as well, making matters even worse.
Gradual Development of a TMJ Disorder
With the wear and tear on the jaw taking place during sleep and during the day, it should come as no surprise that this can eventually result in a TMJ disorder. Many patients who visit our Kansas City practice have developed a TMJ disorder because of this combination of crooked teeth and bruxism. Thankfully there are treatment options.
When addressing these sorts of TMJ disorders, dentists have multiple approaches to consider.
Treating the TMJ Disorder
When treating issues with the jaw joint, we can opt for a number of non-invasive treatments first. This includes everything from corticosteroid injections to the simple use of pain relievers. More invasive therapies can be considered if needed. While address the jaw problems, we will also focus on the underlying causes of the TMJ disorder.
Treating Teeth Grinding
The best option for treating teeth grinding is to create a night guard for patients. A Night guard is a type of retainer that a person wears at night when they sleep. The night guard prevents direct contact between the upper and lower teeth. This reduces the strain on the jaw and protects the teeth from further damage. Stress management techniques can be discussed as well.
Treating Crooked Teeth
Since crooked teeth are the primary cause of these types of TMJ disorder, correcting dental alignment will be our main focus. We offer a number of orthodontic options at our Kansas City practice, and can also use restorative procedures to improve the alignment of the teeth. By finding a more optimal alignment, patients will no longer experience serious problems with teeth grinding.
Come to Our Dental Practice as Soon as Possible
Treating a TMJ disorder is easier when it’s caught as soon as possible. In fact, we may be able to avoid problems entirely by treating teeth grinding and malocclusion before they affect the jaw. We encourage you to contact a skilled cosmetic and restorative dentist for a consultation. Dr. Goodman can be reached by phone at (816) 842-8585.