Common Problems

I have painful jaw muscles and jaw joints. Can an orthodontist help?

Jaw muscle and joint discomfort is commonly associated with “bruxing,” habitual grinding or clenching of the teeth. Bruxism is a muscle habit pattern that can cause severe wearing of the teeth, gum recession, and overloading and trauma to the jaw joint structures. An orthodontist can help diagnose this problem and may also place a bite “splint” or “nightguard” to reduce the pain symptoms.

My family dentist said I need to have some missing teeth replaced, but I need orthodontic treatment first. Why?

Your dentist is probably recommending orthodontics so that he or she can treat you in the best manner possible for optimal dental health. Many complicated tooth restorations, such as crowns, bridges, and implants, can be best accomplished when the remaining teeth are properly aligned and the bite is correct. When permanent teeth are lost, it is common for the remaining teeth to drift, tip or shift; this movement can create a poor bite and uneven spacing that cannot be restored properly. Tipped teeth usually need to be straightened or “uprighted” so they can stand up to normal biting pressures in the future.

My teeth have been crooked for more than 50 years. Why should I have orthodontic treatment now?

Orthodontic treatment, when indicated, is a positive step–especially for adults who have endured a long-standing problem. Orthodontic treatment can restore good function. Teeth that work better usually look better, too. And a healthy, beautiful smile can improve self-esteem, no matter the age. We have treated many patients over the age of 70 years.

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