Sometimes, the root of the orthodontic issues can stem from the jaw, and not the teeth. Improper jaw seating contributes to the added pressure and strain that leads to bruxism, and can exacerbate the pains associated with temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD.
TMD is a fairly common orthodontic condition suffered by patients. Common signs of TMD, or problematic jaw misalignment of any sort, include:
- Pain, tenderness, or numbing around the jaw
- Discomfort when attempting full bite seating
- Cracked, chipped, or worn tooth enamel (emblematic of bruxism)
- Facial aching, or even broader upper body ache
- Locking and/or popping in one or both jaw joints
Can Clear Aligners Straighten The Jawline?
Clear aligner appliances, when programmed by a trusted, licensed orthodontist, should NOT worsen jaw misalignment and discomfort. While they don’t directly act on the structural makeup of the jawbone, clear aligners, under ideal conditions, should offload unnecessary pressure from the jaw bone. Of course, every patient is different, and even the same condition could radically vary on a case-by-basis. But by gradually pushing the teeth into proper alignment, properly-programmed clear aligners will facilitate better bite structure, and subsequently, less straining on the jaw. In turn, this can alleviate, if not cure, the symptoms associated with jaw discomfort.
Furthermore, experiencing a little jaw pain while wearing aligners can be normal, especially during the first few days of adjusting to a new tray. Gaps in aligner fit can promote muscle contractions, which in turn can promote jaw discomfort. To mitigate this, carefully bite down on Chewies and/or Movemints to promote pain relief and healthy aligner seating.
How Does the Treatment Work?
Clear aligners correct the teeth alignment by using a series of customized molds. Within months, the clear aligners will force the teeth into their new and improved position.
Clear aligners are worn 20 to 22 hours a day that means patient should wear the aligners while sleeping . The appliances automatically serve as a barrier between your upper and lower jaws during the night, preventing teeth from scraping against each other and minimizing pain and joint damage.
Over time, the grinding will subside, not because of the presence of the aligners, but because Invisalign is straightening out your bite so it is healthy and in alignment. You’ll notice that face and neck pain will diminish too. The aligners help reprogram the muscles that are responsible for teeth grinding, relieving the symptoms of the TMD.
When teeth are in alignment, the temporomandibular joint opens and closes freely without pain or inflammation. When teeth are crooked, the joint does not work properly, which can lead to soreness and irritation. Invisalign braces remove the strain and give you beautiful, straight teeth at the same time.