Skip to Main Content
Vincelli Orthodontics Calgary & Canmore

How can my orthodontist help treat my chronic jaw pain?

Patients suffering from TMJ disorder often experience uncomfortable symptoms, which can lead to chronic pain if left untreated. Our orthodontists in Calgary & Canmore discuss TMJ disorders and how we can diagnose and treat jaw pain.

What is TMJ, and how does it cause joint pain?

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ disorder or TMD) is a group of conditions that cause pain in the joints and muscles of the jaw. When functioning properly, these joints and muscles help you to eat, chew and speak. If you suffer from TMJ disorders, then you may experience chronic jaw pain and difficulty chewing or your jaw may lock or click.

Some of the most common causes of TMJ disorders include teeth grinding or clenching, arthritis, jaw injury, stress or anxiety. All of these conditions can cause you to tighten your jaw muscles, contributing to TMJ disorders. The pain you experience may be dull and aching or sharp and stabbing.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorders 

When your jaw muscles and joints work extra hard to do their job, it can cause several uncomfortable symptoms. These include:

  • Facial pain
  • Jaw joint pain, locking and restricted movement
  • Degenerative changes in the jaw joint
  • Pain, fullness and ringing in the ear
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches and neck aches
  • Clenching and/or grinding of teeth, with associated wear, tooth breakage, bone loss, receding gums, lost teeth

When should you see an orthodontist for jaw pain?

One of the main signs that it is time to visit your orthodontist is if you notice clicking or popping in your jaw joints. Your orthodontist will examine your jaw joint and the surrounding muscles to diagnose the cause of your jaw pain. As mentioned above, the causes can range from teeth clenching to stress. Your orthodontist may recommend jaw repositioning or bite adjustments to treat this issue. These treatments aim to relieve pressure on the joints and muscles.

You may require braces or clear aligners to realign your jaw into a more balanced position. Once your jaw is realigned, you may experience significant relief from the jaw pain caused by TMJ disorders.

Some patients have other chronic pain conditions along with TMJ disorders. In these cases, we work with other specialized professionals who help with specific areas of the body, such as physiotherapists and chiropractors.

How can orthodontic treatment help relieve jaw pain caused by TMJ?

Orthodontic treatment can help relieve many of the symptoms associated with TMJ disorders by realigning the jaw and teeth. This helps by:

Realigning the Jaw

Your orthodontist may recommend braces or clear aligners to help shift the upper and lower jawbones into their proper positions. This can help reduce muscle spasms and pain caused by joint pressure.

Improving the Alignment of Your Bite

Jaw discomfort and mobility issues can be addressed by correcting an uneven bite, overbite, or underbite. Making adjustments to how the teeth come together when chewing and speaking may eliminate strain on the jaw joint and muscles.

Addressing Teeth Grinding Issues

Wearing a night guard can help prevent teeth grinding (bruxism) while sleeping. Grinding your teeth can cause trauma to the jaw joint and muscles, leading to pain, stiffness and other symptoms of TMJ disorder. A night guard prevents this motion and allows your muscles and joints to heal from the trauma.

How can we help treat jaw pain at Vincelli Orthodontics?

Our orthodontists can test for, diagnose and provide a treatment plan for TMJ disorders using a two-step treatment process. 

Step 1

Special bite splints can even out the bite and break up the protective reflex, allowing the muscles to relax and the jaw joint to seat itself properly in its socket. In some cases, this may take several months. 

Step 2

Once the jaw joints are in their healthy position, your orthodontist will be able to see the issue affecting your bite and correct it. The severity of the bite issue will determine the type of correction recommended. Approaches can range from a simple bite adjustment to reshaping teeth to orthodontic treatment and corrective bite surgery.

Our orthodontists in Calgary & Canmore can treat TMD symptoms in children, teens, and adults. Contact our team at Vincelli Orthodontics today to request an appointment.

New Patients Always Welcome

We are accepting new patients in Calgary & Canmore. Contact us and take the first step in achieving a healthy bite.

Contact Us

(587) 355-8772 Contact