Traditional Braces and TMJ Disorder

Traditional braces may be the go-to solution for a prettier smile, but a lot of evidence demonstrates that they can contribute to TMJ disorder.

The journey to a straight and beautiful smile often involves traditional braces, a proven method for correcting dental misalignments. But a lot of evidence suggests that while traditional braces may achieve the desired cosmetic results, they can also contribute to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues. Learn more about the link between traditional braces and TMJ problems, and how functional orthodontics offers an approach to straightening teeth that won’t cause TMJ issues down the road.

How Do Traditional Braces Impact TMJ Health?

Traditional braces work by applying continuous pressure to move teeth into their desired positions. While this method is effective in aligning teeth, it can unintentionally impact the balance and function of the temporomandibular joint, which connects the jawbone to the skull. The pressure exerted during orthodontic treatment can influence the position and movement of the jaw, potentially leading to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) or exacerbating existing TMJ issues.

Jaw Misalignment

The force exerted by traditional braces can sometimes lead to changes in the alignment of the jaw. This alteration can affect the smooth movement of the jaw joint, causing discomfort, pain, and, in severe cases, contributing to TMJ disorders.

Muscle Strain

The adjustment period during orthodontic treatment often involves changes in the bite and jaw alignment. These alterations can strain the facial muscles, including those around the temporomandibular joint, leading to muscle fatigue, pain, and increased susceptibility to TMJ issues.

Jaw Clicking and Popping

Some individuals with traditional braces may experience jaw clicking or popping sounds. These audible indicators may signal irregularities in the movement of the temporomandibular joint, potentially indicating the development of TMJ problems.

Functional Orthodontics: A Preventive Approach to TMJ Health

Functional orthodontics stands apart by addressing not only the cosmetic aspects of tooth alignment but also the underlying factors that contribute to TMJ issues. This approach recognizes the intricate relationship between the teeth, jaw, facial muscles, and overall oral function. Here’s how functional orthodontics aims to avoid or mitigate TMJ challenges.

Functional Orthodontics in Flower Mound

While traditional braces have been a staple in orthodontic treatment, it is essential to recognize their potential impact on TMJ and airway health. TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of North Texas offers functional orthodontics for a more comprehensive and preventive approach, considering not only the alignment of teeth but also the intricate balance of the entire oral and facial system. We go beyond aesthetics and prioritize your overall well-being, aiming to provide you or your child with the opportunity for a healthy and pain-free life. Our approach involves a thorough and thoughtful analysis of your anatomy, breathing patterns, physiology, and neurology, ensuring that we create the most effective treatment plan. Unlike traditional orthodontics, where the focus is primarily on straightening teeth and improving smiles, we recognize the importance of addressing skeletal changes that may be necessary. Our treatment plans consider not only proper breathing but also enhancements in posture, spine alignment, neurological balance, and muscle function. By prioritizing whole-body wellness, we aim to optimize brain function and promote your overall health.

Many adults believe that their orthodontic choices are limited because their facial structure is no longer growing. They may also think that certain corrections they desire are no longer achievable. Whether you’ve experienced relapse from previous orthodontic treatment or were dissatisfied with the results, Dr. Hana Khan offers refined techniques that can address skeletal and airway deficiencies, even in non-growing patients. Through these innovative methods, we can stimulate new bone growth and enhance both facial aesthetics and your dazzling smile, even in adulthood. Additionally, for those seeking more discreet options, clear or tooth-colored braces are available.

Dr. Hana is also certified in techniques such as clear aligners, providing further flexibility for simpler dental corrections. If you have experienced minor tooth shifting after previous orthodontic treatment or misplaced your retainers, Dr. Hana can assess your smile and suggest simpler alternatives to resolve cosmetic and hygiene concerns.

If you’re seeking a better smile that also reduces the long-term impact on your overall health, you may find that functional orthodontics can be a way to get there. Contact us today to learn more.

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Interested in learning if you’re a candidate for airway dentistry? Contact us today to learn more.