Temporomandibular joint disorder is an uncomfortable thing to go through. The clicking, popping, and pain in the joint can ruin your day and serve as a distraction from everything that you want to enjoy. While there are many different causes for TMJ, if you have never had braces and know that your teeth or bite are crooked, it's possible that this is the main culprit behind your jaw pain. Here's what you need to know about how a crooked bite can contribute to TMJ.
Temporomandibular joint disorder is a problem that happens in the joints that allow the jaw to open and close. There's one on each side of the jaw, and they both act like hinges. TMJ is also a wide-ranging disorder that covers just about anything that can go wrong with these joints. There can be many causes, like injury or genetics, but even if yours has an injury to blame, your bite may still be making matters even worse.
When Bites Are Misaligned
A healthy, normal jaw is designed to be able to rest fully when your mouth is closed because the upper and lower teeth are designed to fit against each other evenly. But when the bite is misaligned, this process doesn't work the way that it should.
It doesn't matter how your bite is misaligned; it could be something as simple as a crooked tooth or something more serious, like abnormal growth during your childhood causing the lower jaw to form in a different shape than the upper jaw. In any case, when this happens, the jaw can't rest in a closed position fully. This can put a strain on one or both of the joints to make them more likely to click, pop, and be painful.
If you know that you have TMJ, getting braces can potentially help. Braces are designed to realign bites and teeth, no matter whether or not you have a minor misalignment or a serious bite problem. Once the braces have moved your teeth back into a normal, even position, your jaw joints will be able to rest fully when closed. This should relax the muscle that supports the joint, which can help to reduce tension, discomfort, and popping.
Braces are a great way to deal with the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder. While it may not be a perfect cure, you can expect to see a distinct improvement in your symptoms once your braces treatment is completed. Contact an orthodontist to learn more.