As a dedicated orthodontist in Los Angeles, Dr. David Alpan has helped patients of all ages improve their confidence by straightening crooked teeth. He also warns that straight teeth are about more than mere vanity; proper occlusion, or teeth alignment, is vital to a mouth’s comfort, health, and function, and when teeth are crooked (a condition called malocclusion), the rest of your mouth’s components can suffer. Today, we explore how crooked teeth can influence your jaw’s joints and muscles, leading to the debilitating dysfunction known as TMJ disorder.
The Effects of Improper Pressure Displacement
A healthy human mouth can exert up to 200 pounds of pressure on the back molars when biting and chewing, and is designed to preserve the integrity of its components as they absorb this pressure. Teeth alignment plays a significant role in pressure displacement, and if teeth are uneven, then the mouth is off balance and certain teeth may be subjected to excessive pressure. The jaw’s joints (TMJs) and muscles will try to keep the mouth straight while biting and chewing, but the strain can eventually lead to TMJ damage and misalignment.
Diagnosing & Treating TMJ Disorder
TMJ disorder is difficult to diagnose for many patients because of the diversity of its symptoms. Aside from jaw stiffness and discomfort, TMJ disorder can also cause chronic earaches, severe headaches, and pain in the neck, face, shoulder, and back. Patients may experience unexplained chronic discomfort for years before learning that the pain is a symptom of a jaw dysfunction, which can only be accurately diagnosed by a dental professional.
Uneven teeth aren’t the only cause for TMJ disorder. Habitual teeth grinding, traumatic injuries, and congenital jaw defects are also among the many causes for the jaw dysfunction, and finding relief often depends on treating the underlying condition. In the case of malocclusion, this may mean orthodontic treatment to realign crooked teeth and correct bite balance.
Learn More from Your Los Angeles Orthodontist
To learn more about TMJ disorder and the importance of straight teeth, schedule an appointment by calling your Laos Angeles orthodontics office at (213) 382-8228 today for a free initial consultation. For your convenience, we an office in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and we proudly serve patients across all surrounding communities.