It’s all too common for adults to suffer from jaw and facial pain. While there are many causes, one possible remedy is the use of Invisalign clear aligners. Here’s more information on how jaw pain with Invisalign® can be treated.
Causes of jaw and facial pain
Jaw and facial pain can be caused by many things including a sinus infection, toothaches, tension headaches, and injuries. However, the most common cause is TMJ disorder.
The temporomandibular joint, also known as TMJ, is the hinge that connects your lower jaw to your skull. Often times, the muscles around these joints can become inflamed, or the joints themselves can become unhinged. This is due to a number of reasons including arthritis, clenching or grinding of the teeth, eating hard or chewy foods, an injury, or just plain old genetics.
Symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
- Facial discomfort
- Painful jaw muscles
- Locking of the jaw
- Clicking of the jaw
- Difficulty chewing
- Pain surrounding the ears
- Difficulty opening the mouth
How to treat TMJ disorder
If you have any of these symptoms, don’t worry! TMJ disorder is manageable and can be treated a number of ways. An over-the-counter pain reliever or prescribed medication can provide immediate (although often times temporary) relief. Wearing a TMJ splint full time followed by orthodontic treatment can also relieve TMJ disorder if it is caused by clenching or teeth grinding. Patients with extreme cases may require surgery, but we find that many cases can be managed simply by realigning the jaw through corrective orthodontic treatment with Invisalign.
What are Invisalign clear aligners?
Invisalign treatment consists of wearing a series of clear, plastic molds that are custom fitted to your mouth. Over a period of time, the trays straighten and realign your teeth and jaw. Invisalign is used to treat a number of orthodontic disorders. Although it is mostly used to straighten teeth, it has the added benefit of helping patients who suffer from TMJ disorder.
Many patients prefer wearing Invisalign clear aligners over traditional braces because they are unnoticeable and can be removed. No one will ever know you’re wearing them so they’re a great option for adults to consider.
How can Invisalign fix TMJ disorder?
Invisalign helps patients with TMJ disorder in a few ways. By wearing Invisalign at night, the clear aligners act similar to a TMJ splint by protecting the teeth and jaw from clenching and grinding. Many patients also ask, “does Invisalign fix jaw alignment?” Yes. It helps by realigning your jaw and correcting the muscles and anatomical tendencies that cause TMJ disorder in the first place. In other words, jaw pain with Invisalign can be minimized.
Ready to give Invisalign for TMJ disorder a try?
The first step to begin treatment for TMJ disorder is to visit an orthodontist. An orthodontist can provide the best assessment as they are the highly trained with issues related to your bite. During this initial assessment they will evaluate the severity of TMJ disorder and see if you are a good candidate for Invisalign.
So if you’re tired of frequently waking up with a headache, jaw ache, and facial pain, then perhaps it’s time to consider corrective treatment with Invisalign.
At Spillers Orthodontics, we are a designated Diamond+ Top 1% Invisalign Provider. This means we have successfully treated over 5,000 orthodontic cases with clear aligners, making us one of the nation’s top providers.
If you have questions about TMJ and are interested in starting treatment with Invisalign, then let’s chat. Our reputable and friendly orthodontists in Warner Robins and Macon, GA would love to help. Schedule a free orthodontic exam today.