We get a lot of patients who come into our orthodontic office with jaw pain and are hoping we can help. The good news is that often, we can!
Typically the patients we get who have these problems are adults and the cause is most often bite problems.
One of the common questions we get from these patients is “Why now?” They are curious about how they’ve managed to evade these problems for so many years and why they’re suddenly surfacing.
A lot of jaw problems surface and get worse as time goes on with an untreated bite problem. Sometimes patients don’t know they have a bite problem and other times they think that just because it doesn’t hurt them now that it won’t later.
The problem is, over time, if the jaw is in the incorrect place or misaligned, it can cause tension and wear on the teeth, causing jaw pain.
Another big problem that can cause jaw pain is teeth grinding.
As I said, typically jaw pain is a product of bite problems. This means that to get rid of the jaw pain, we need to fix that bite! The best course of action in these cases is the use of Invisalign.
Invisalign to the rescue!
At night, Invisalign retainers work as a night guard to stop teeth grinding as this condition can create problems or make them worse.
They fix the bite problem. Bite problems make up the majority of the jaw pain we see here, so with a fixed bite comes alleviated jaw pain.
Since the majority of patients we get with jaw pain are adults, Invisalign is a great option because many adults do not want traditional braces.
For patients who can’t afford Invisalign, we often recommend just a night guard to help stop the effects of teeth grinding.
How do I know?
Well, aside from the fact that I went to school for many years to specialize in orthodontics, I also have personal experience with jaw pain.
When I was in my 20s, I suffered from a common ailment: an excessive overbite. Though my teeth were straight, you couldn’t even see my bottom teeth because they were so overlapped by my top ones.
I was grinding my teeth at night and my bottom teeth started to get overcrowded and crooked. My jaw pain was terrible and got to the point where I couldn’t even eat with a spoon because I couldn’t open up my mouth wide enough to eat with it.
So I had ortho work done, my bite got fixed, and my jaw stopped hurting!
If you’re having jaw pain, there’s a good chance it’s being caused by a bite problem. Call for a consult and we can help you get that bite straight and that jaw pain gone!
Drs Cater and Galante