If you’ve heard your friends or coworkers complain about the discomfort associated with TMJ, you may be relieved that you don’t have it. Even if you are relieved, you should know this—you do, in fact, have a TMJ.
TMJ vs TMD: What’s the Difference?
Many people think TMJ refers to a medical condition, but it doesn’t. TMJ is simply shorthand for temporomandibular joint, which is a synovial joint, or a joint that has a disc, located between your lower jawbone and your skull.
Several things can irritate your TMJ and result in temporomandibular disorder, which is also known as TMD and TMJ disorder. A misaligned jaw, teeth grinding or clenching, eating too many chewy foods like jerky or gum, biting your nails, chewing on pens or pencils—the list of things that can cause your TMJ to act up is nearly endless. If you have TMD, it can cause pain in your TMJ and facial muscles. It can also lead you to suffer persistent tension headaches and make it painful to open your mouth.
Invisalign and TMJ Disorder
People who suffer from TMJ disorder are often desperate to find relief. Luckily, an orthodontist is often able to provide relief for the symptoms associated with TMJ disorder with Invisalign treatment. Invisalign is a treatment that uses a series of clear aligners to gradually reposition a person’s teeth over time.
During their Invisalign treatment, patients wear their clear aligners for 20-22 hours per day, including when they’re sleeping. While they’re in your mouth, your Invisalign aligners act as a cushion between your upper and lower teeth, preventing them from grinding against one another. Because your teeth aren’t in direct contact with each other, your aligners will protect your teeth from damage caused by grinding. They can also protect you from the symptoms of TMJ disorder, such as jaw pain and facial fatigue.
While having a properly aligned bite at the end of your treatment can help minimize or eliminate the symptoms of TMJ disorder, Invisalign can help TMD sufferers in other ways. The treatment can reprogram your jaw muscles to reduce teeth grinding, for example. Your Invisalign clear aligners can also condition your jaw muscles to be more efficient, which can reduce wear and lessen the discomfort commonly affiliated with TMJ disorder.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Invisalign
Too often, people think of Invisalign in the context of someone’s appearance. While Invisalign can certainly improve the appearance of your smile, it has the power to do much more. By aligning your teeth, Invisalign reduces the stress on your TMJ which, in turn, lessens the inflammation and pain caused by TMJ disorder.
If you suffer from TMD, you know how debilitating the condition can be at least on occasion. Invisalign has the very real power to alleviate your symptoms while improving your smile at the same time.
Clearsmile Orthodontics: Your Local Source for Invisalign Treatment
Are you ready to see what Invisalign can do for your TMD? If so, we invite you to visit Clearsmile Orthodontics, the local source for Invisalign treatment for Charlotte-area residents.
There’s no reason to wonder what you should expect when you visit our office on South Boulevard. Learn what to expect from your first appointment with Clearsmile Orthodontics now!