Can Invisalign Lead to TMJ or Jaw Pain?

The temporomandibular joint serves as a sliding hinge that connects the jawbone to the skull. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome is a disorder of the jaw muscles and nerves that is caused by an injury to the temporomandibular joint. Although the exact cause of an individual’s TMJ disorder is tough to determine, it may occur because of a combination of problems such as jaw injury and arthritis. Genetics, bad habits, and bite issues can also be causes.

In the majority of instances, the discomfort and pain associated with TMJ syndrome can be relieved with nonsurgical treatments such as muscle relaxants, pain relievers, sedatives, and tricyclic antidepressants. Physical therapy, bite guards, and patient education can help as well. In the most severe cases, surgery may be required to alleviate TMJ syndrome.

Invisalign Does Not Cause TMJ

Some Invisalign patients at Orthodontics Only have asked if Invisalign treatment can cause TMJ syndrome or jaw pain. Fortunately, scientific research has proved that there is not a direct correlation between Invisalign or any other type of orthodontic treatment and TMJ. Issues with TMJ can be absent or present in all type of good and bad bites.

Since Invisalign can change a patient’s bite, it can worsen TMJ. Patients who are experiencing TMJ should talk to their orthodontist to find out if it makes sense to stop Invisalign treatment and focus on trying to determine the cause of the jaw pain and discomfort. While Invisalign aligners may not be the exact cause of TMJ, they may bring about an issue that your orthodontist was unaware of prior to starting Invisalign treatment.

Align Technology, the manufacturer that created Invisalign recommends that orthodontists do not treat any patient who has symptoms of TMJ with Invisalign. These symptoms can include headaches, ear pain, popping in the jaws, chronic fatigue, difficulty focusing and sometimes, depression.

If you are suffering from the pain and discomfort of TMJ, contact Orthodontics Only today. We will perform a thorough evaluation of your jaw joint, including the soft tissues of the jaw. Dr. Derek Sanders and his team are here to give you the TMJ relief you deserve.