Many patients in Santa Monica ask about invisible braces for obvious reasons. They need significant jaw or bite re-alignment, but they don’t want to deal with the aesthetic issues that come along with traditional metal braces. Furthermore, invisible braces such as Invisalign ® and Bioliners are more convenient and less painful than the old metal braces. However, invisible braces might also help alleviate headaches and pain that ripples throughout your body. How? The secret lies in a small joint in your jaw.

TMJ/TMD

The temporomandibular joint is a ball-and-socket joint that connects your jaw to your skull. When you grind or clench your teeth, you cause strain and inflammation in the muscles surrounding that joint. That inflammation is the cause of temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ/TMD. TMJ can cause a cascading effect throughout your body and produce pain and discomfort in your neck, shoulders and upper back. All because of one, small joint in your jaw.

But there’s another cause of TMJ: bite or teeth misalignment. When you have common orthodontic problems like an overbite, underbite or crowded teeth, your jaw (and thus the temporomandibular joint) have to strain to compensate. This is how your bite issues can cause such seemingly unrelated problems as headaches and back pain.

How Invisible Braces Can Help

If you come in complaining of TMJ symptoms such as headaches, your doctor will first diagnose you and verify you have the condition. If you do, the dentist will then lay out a course of treatment that is right for your unique needs.

One of those treatments might well be braces. By re-aligning your teeth and/or fixing your bite, the doctor will be able to significantly alleviate your TMJ symptoms. When discussing your braces options, invisible braces like Invisalign might be right for you. You can remove them before eating and brushing, and with invisible braces there’s no uncomfortable tightening at the dentist’s office. Invisible braces can play a key role in your TMJ treatment.

If you’re suffering from TMJ in the Santa Monica area and you want to know if the cause if a bite or teeth alignment issue that invisible braces can address, please contact the office of Dr. Ana Brightleaf and Brightleaf Cosmetic and Holistic Dentistry today to arrange a free consultation.