If you’re dealing with jaw pain or discomfort, you’re not alone. In fact, Over 15% of adults ages 20 to 40 suffer from TMJ, otherwise known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction. It makes eating difficult, leaves your jaw feeling stiff, and even causes earaches and headaches.

TMJ disorder is certainly uncomfortable and sometimes even painful, but there are solutions available, including braces! If you’re an adult suffering from TMJ, discover how braces can offer relief.

What is TMJ?

TMJ occurs when joint cartilage in your jaw slips out of place. This could happen naturally due to the alignment of your teeth, it could happen if you have arthritis, or it could even happen due to trauma, like if you were injured while playing a sport. Because the cartilage is missing, your joint can’t move smoothly while talking or eating. You’ll feel pain and perhaps even hear popping or cracking in your mouth.

Other symptoms of TMJ include:

  • Ear pain or ringing
  • Facial pain
  • Neck pain
  • Tight muscles in your jaw
  • Misalignment of your teeth
  • Headaches
  • Swelling
  • Issues opening your mouth
  • Tenderness or sensitivity in your teeth

How Do Braces Help with TMJ?

There are several treatment options for TMJ disorder depending on its severity. Sometimes pain medication works. If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw, doctors may recommend stress reduction or night guards while you’re sleeping. Other times, if your TMJ is severe, corrective jaw surgery may be needed. However, if your TMJ is caused by bite issues, misalignment, or malocclusion, braces are a popular and effective solution.

Braces help correct the position of your teeth and your jawbone over time. Whether you have an underbite, overbite, or crossbite, braces can help align the teeth by evenly exerting pressure on them to move them into place. Brackets, archwires, spacers, and rubber bands all work together to apply this pressure where it is most needed. Then, your jaw bone gradually conforms to the new position of your teeth.

It’s important to visit an orthodontist for X-rays before your procedure begins. Only with an x-ray can you determine whether misalignment may be the cause of your TMJ. If misalignment or malocclusion isn’t the cause of your TMJ, braces may end up causing you more discomfort. Here at Exeter Smiles, we offer free consultations inclusive of x-rays so you can be sure that the treatment you’re seeking is best for you.

Remember: braces take time. You won’t notice a difference overnight. For severe bite issues, traditional braces may be better suited than Invisalign. The complexity of your case and your age will impact how long your treatment lasts (adults often have to wear braces for a shorter period than children).

Straighten Your Smile with Exeter Smiles!

If you’ve been suffering from TMJ, we at Exeter Smiles can help you get out of pain and straighten your smile in the process. We’ve worked with thousands of adult braces patients, so know that you won’t be alone!

We encourage you to request a free consultation with our orthodontists to learn more about how braces can help treat your TMJ, straighten your smile, and boost your confidence. Our braces cost only $3,995 and include x-rays, retainers, adjustments, repairs, and emergency visits.

With offices in Allentown and Reading, what do you have to lose? Request a consultation today.