FAQ About Orthodontic Treatment for Adults
3. I have painful jaw muscles and jaw joints – can an orthodontist help?
Jaw muscle and jaw joint discomfort is commonly associated with bruxing, that is, habitual grinding or clenching of the teeth, particularly at night. Bruxism is a muscle habit pattern that can cause severe wearing of the teeth and overloading and trauma to the jaw joint structures. Chronically or acutely sore and painful jaw muscles may accompany this bruxing habit. An orthodontist can help diagnose this problem. Your family dentist or orthodontist may also place a bite splint or night-guard appliance that can protect the teeth and help jaw muscles relax, substantially reducing the original pain symptoms. Sometimes structural damage can require joint surgery and/or restoration of damaged teeth.