When you think of braces, you probably associate them with cosmetic treatment and an improved bite. While orthodontic care can certainly improve the look and function of your teeth, La Jolla orthodontics offer another important benefit. If you suffer from jaw pain, stiffness, or other symptoms of TMJ Disorder, braces can ease your discomfort and improve your quality of life. Dental misalignment, especially serious malocclusion, can put a lot of pressure on your jaw joints. In response, the nearby tissues may become inflamed or the joints themselves can be damaged. Dr. Georgaklis offers several types of San Diego orthodontics, and he will choose the type that is most suited to your needs.

Are You Suffering from TMJ Disorder?

Unfortunately, TMD is often undiagnosed. Though advanced imaging technology can usually detect inflammation or joint damage, many patients are unaware of the symptoms of TMD. Therefore, they do not come in for diagnostic care. The following symptoms are common signs of TMJ Disorder:

  • Jaw or facial pain
  • Jaw stiffness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Ear pain
  • Chronic headaches or migraines
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to schedule a TMJ evaluation. Appropriate treatment can ease discomfort and prevent serious, long-term damage to your jaw joints.

The Connection between Dental Alignment and TMD

There are many factors that can cause TMD. Bruxism, whiplash, and facial injuries can all lead to this condition. However, dental misalignment is one of the most common causes of TMD. If you have an imbalanced bite, including an overbite, underbite, or crossbite, it will place uneven pressure across your dental arch. In turn, this will put a lot of stress on your jaw joints. Though malocclusion is more likely to cause TMD, even one or two crooked teeth can damage your sensitive joints.

San Diego Orthodontics Options

Although Dr. Georgaklis offers a wide selection of La Jolla orthodontics, not all options will be appropriate for the treatment of TMD. Typically, the most suitable choices will include:

  • Traditional braces: Standard metal braces are appropriate even for severe misalignment. Dr. Georgaklis will carefully calibrate the exact tension needed to straighten your smile.
  • Lingual braces: If you are worried about the look of braces, Dr. Georgaklis can also place the brackets on the back of your teeth. Lingual braces can correct most of the same issues as traditional braces. However, it can be harder to adjust to these braces, so Dr. Georgaklis will evaluate your bite before recommending this type of orthodontia.
  • Invisalign®: In the past, Invisalign® was only suitable for cosmetic care. However, with improved technology, the treatment can now address the overall alignment of your bite.

Accelerated orthodontics can be a great option to improve the look of your smile, but they are not typically a good option if you want to correct severe misalignment.

Learn More about La Jolla Orthodontics

Along with orthodontia, custom mouthguards and chiropractic care can alleviate the symptoms of TMD. George Georgaklis, DDS is dedicated to your health and wellbeing. He will evaluate your tooth and jaw alignment to determine the most appropriate treatment for your needs. Contact us today to schedule your TMJ evaluation.