Crooked teeth can make a smile look less than perfect, but the problems that they can cause go far deeper than cosmetic surface issues. If you have crooked teeth and you can remember having jaw aches for a long time, chances are these two things are connected. Here's what you need to know about this condition and what you can do to get it treated.
Why It Happens
Have you ever seen a mold of upper and lower teeth at your dentist's office? If you have, you've probably noticed that the upper and lower teeth fit together perfectly, with the grooves in one fitting into the grooves of the other. This is what it's like when teeth aren't crooked.
When teeth are crooked, they can cause problems in this alignment. Teeth don't line up properly with one another, so the jaw is partially pushed into an open position. This can cause pain in the jaw joints.
What It's Called
If your jaw joints hurt, you may have a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ. This is a condition that many people suffer from for a wide variety of reasons, but crooked teeth are on the list of things that can cause it.
Temporomandibular joint disorder covers a wide spectrum of issues with the two hinges that let the jaw open and close. The typical symptoms include pain, swelling, and clicking in the joints.
When your teeth aren't even and your jaw can't fully rest, it puts strain and pressure on those jaw joints. This can cause the discomfort that you're experiencing.
What to Do About It
Getting help for this condition is a fairly simple process. While you can treat the symptoms by doing things like taking over-the-counter pain relievers, it's important to tackle the problem at the source, which requires straightening your teeth.
These days, you have more options to straighten your teeth than ever. You can go with traditional braces, a time-honored and effective solution. You could opt for invisible braces, which are made of thin plastic and can be removed, which many people like. Or you could choose sublingual braces, which are the best of both worlds as they have the power of traditional braces but are hidden behind your teeth.
When your teeth are straightened, your jaw will be able to fully rest, taking the pressure off of the joints in your jaw. This should reduce or eliminate your pain and any other symptoms that you're having. to learn more, contact a company like Poulson Orthodontics.