TMJMost people associate the orthodontist with issues that are largely cosmetic: adjusting overbites or under bites, all different kinds of braces for straightening the teeth and making our smiles beautiful. But orthodontists like those at the Pacific West Dental Group can actually address problems that you may not associate with your beautiful smile at all. Orthodontics can help treat head pain, neck pain and other discomforts associated with TMJ.

What is TMJ?

TMJ, or the temporo-mandibular joint, is a part of the body that we exercise every time we chew or yawn or talk, and most of us pay it no attention. Yet, when the cartilage disc that causes pressure and stretching of the associated sensory nerves is displaced, pain and discomfort is the result.

Some people will hear a clicking sound, some will have ear pain, and many will have frequent head and neck aches. For some, the pain will be searing every time they talk or chew, and for others it will be a low grade, but constant pain.

The pain can be felt in the temple, the teeth, the jaw, and even down into the neck. These kinds of problems, even if minor, can begin to affect our quality of life. When we are in pain, we are tense and we do not function to our highest potential.

Orthodontics Has Solutions

Orthodontists are able to address this problem of the jaw. Even jaw specialists will usually refer patients with TMJ disorders to see an orthodontist. Orthodontists can help determine a customized solution, like a mouth guard, or surgery if necessary. Each patient and their case will be different and benefit from a consultation with an orthodontist. Don’t wait to get treatment. Many people live for years with TMJ and neck and head pain, when simple solutions are within easy reach

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