Can Invisalign Really Help Treat My Jaw Pain?

Invisalign could be the answer to jaw pain.

Is there something that can help with my temporomandibular pain?

If you experience temporomandibular pain—pain in your jaw at the temporomandibular joint—you may be looking for anything that can help relieve the pain. The best Austin cosmetic dental team at Parmer Lane Family Dentistry has an option you might not have considered: Invisalign.

What is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)?

First, we need to explain what temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD, is.

The lower jaw is connected to the skull by two temporomandibular joints, or TMJ, that are on either side of the face. The joints slide and rotate in front of your ear and move the mandible, or the lower jaw, and the temporal bone, the side and base of the skull. The temporomandibular joints allow the mandible to move in all directions. This movement happens when you eat, chew, bite, and speak. When the mandible and TMJs are not lined up properly, several issues can arise, which are known as TMDs.

People who suffer from TMDs, experience pain in the jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints, or the nerves associated with the face. Any issues that prevent the bones, muscles, and joints in the face from working together can be a temporomandibular disorder.

The cause of TMDs often isn’t clear. Sometimes, excessive strain on the jaw can cause pain. Bruxism (grinding or clenching teeth), is another habit that can cause a TMD. Other causes of TMD can be trauma to the jaw, arthritis, and even fibromyalgia (widespread muscle pain).

What are the symptoms of TMD?

There are a bunch of varied symptoms of a TMD and some may cross over with other health issues, but some of the most common symptoms of TMD are:

  • Jaw discomfort or soreness, which is often common in the morning or late afternoon.
  • Headaches.
  • Pain behind the eyes, in the face, shoulder, neck, or back.
  • Earaches or ringing in the ears that isn’t caused by an ear infection.
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw.
  • Locking of the jaw.
  • Clenching or grinding teeth.
  • Limited mouth movements.
  • Sensitivity of teeth without the presence of another oral health issue.
  • Change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together.

If you suspect you might have a TMD, visit your dentist for an evaluation.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a set of custom-made clear aligners that are used in orthodontics. Invisalign guides teeth into their correct positions using a series of aligners that apply gentle pressure to move the teeth into place. The aligners are changed usually every two weeks, slowly adjusting the teeth as needed.

Invisalign aligners are clear, and are an alternative to metal braces. Invisalign aligners need to be worn for at least 22 hours a day and should be removed only for eating meals and brushing teeth—as well as the occasional selfie. 

How can Invisalign help a TMD?

In some cases of TMD, Invisalign can be used to help treat the pain. If your jaw is being forced to work in an unnatural way, either because that is how you were born or because of facial trauma, it can cause problems with your TMJ.

Because Invisalign adjusts the teeth and changes their alignment, they can help with TMJ pain. The adjustment of the teeth in the jaw can realign the TMJ, which can ease the pain in the jaw

Invisalign can also be used for people who have bruxism. If you find you grind your teeth, especially at night, Invisalign aligners could help you find temporary relief from TMDs.

Invisalign will not be able to fix every person’s TMJ problems, so the team at Palmer Lane Family Dentistry needs to perform an evaluation to see if you are a candidate for Invisalign.

Visit Palmer Lane Family Dentistry for a consultation today.

If you are experiencing jaw pain, you should make an appointment today to visit the talented team at Palmer Lane Family Dentistry in Austin, Texas. After a complete dental evaluation, our team will be able to determine if the pain you are experiencing is from a TMJ problem or not. If you do have a TMD, our dentists will be able to work with you to find a solution for your pain, which could include using Invisalign. If Invisalign isn’t a solution for your TMD pain, our team will recommend other solutions to get you feeling like yourself again.

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