Is it Normal to Have TMJ Dysfunction After Braces?
No. Orthodontics does not cause TMJ disease. But anytime teeth are moved around and there are changes to the bite, tongue and airway spaces, and the mouth in general, problems can arise. People who need braces normally have more problems than their teeth not being straight. Crowed and crooked teeth is the writing on the wall that functional problems exist in the mouth. But what is the root cause of why the teeth are crowded? If that question can be answered, the problem can be resolved. Just because the teeth have been straightened does not mean everything else in the mouth and jaws have been optimized. The teeth should line up top to bottom and fit well. There should be enough room in the mouth for the tongue to function properly. There should be enough space in the mouth and the lower jaw should be positioned forwards where the tongue does not back up into the airway.
How do Conditions in the Mouth Influence TMJ Dysfunction:
- Breathing – Breathing is one of the primary things that happens in the mouth. When the mouth is too small, space for the tongue is crowded and the tongue can become displaced into the throat and get in the way of proper breathing function.
- Talking – believe it or not, when things are not right in the mouth there can be speech problems.
- Tongue function – when the tongue is crowded or crooked teeth are in the way, there can be issues with proper tongue function and swallowing
- Swallowing – improper swallowing can lead to tongue thrusts the push the teeth around and cause instability. A retainer will not hold everything.
- Head Posture – the relationship of the upper and lower jaw has everything to do with posture. Long Story!
When people are asking for braces there is usually a reason such as tooth crowding, cooked teeth, teeth not lining up and biting properly. These problems are usually complaints about how things look and feel. Braces can be used to get teeth straight, but do not always correct all the other functional dental problems. These same issues can lead to TMJ pain, teeth clenching, bruxism and even sleep apnea. Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) is another common airway problem at night related to the spaces in the mouth.
How Can Braces contribute to TMJ Problems:
When Braces are removed, the teeth may be too far back in the mouth and not allow enough room for the Tongue. The Tongue can be displaced into the throat especially at night and get in the way of night time breathing. Braces can change the size and shape of the upper and lower jaws-that is hold the outward growth of the face back from happening. Worse, braces can be used for retraction or backward movement of the jaws and teeth-this is bad almost every time. Often times, braces will not correct a bad bite completely and the use of expanders or even surgery may be necessary. The DNA Vivos dental appliance is the best appliance for TMJ disorders and Sleep Apnea / UARS problems in adults. The ALF dental appliance is the appliance is the best appliance for tooth crowding and small jaws in children. ALF vs DNA dental appliance.
Other Popular Blog Posts:
- Palatal Expander Options for Children
- Do Not Remove Teeth For Orthodontic Treatment
- Schwarz Appliance
Can Smile Direct Club cause Bruxism and TMJ?
Since Smile Direct Club is not done by a licensed dentist, it has the greatest chance of causing a bad bite and TMJ problems.