Most people think that dental braces and other forms of orthodontic treatment only work to fix and improve one’s smile. No one can blame them – after all, it is a dental treatment. But there are actually some medical problems that can be addressed by having your teeth straightened by those wires and brackets. Find out the most common health problems that can be alleviated by orthodontic treatment.
Temporomandibular Joint Problems
The temporomandibular joint, or simply TMJ, pertains the joint connecting your lower jaw to the rest of the head. A patient who suffers from malocclusion or wrong bite can also experience TMJ problems because the wrong relationship of the upper and lower teeth can also cause the misalignment of the jaw.
This is manifested by pain in the jaw and around the ear area, and discomfort when chewing. Orthodontic treatment like dental braces which help put the teeth into their proper alignment, in turn, can help correct jaw alignment as well. This helps get rid of all the negative symptoms mentioned.
Headaches and Neck Pain
The head and neck area consists of a complex, yet delicate network of bones, joints, muscles, and tendons that have to work together in harmony for optimum function. And any imbalance in this network results to chronic headaches and neck pain.
If you experience reoccurring pain in the head and neck area that doesn’t seem to go away with your OTC pain meds warrant a visit to a specialist. Your dentist and/or orthodontist are some of the specialists you must consider especially if the pain is originating from behind the eyes, on the temple, or at the back of the head. You dentist or orthodontist will help determine if the pain is related to your teeth and orthodontic treatment could be the answer.
Difficulty sleeping may result from both TMJ problems and pain in the head and neck. If you jaws are misaligned, chances are, you’ll have trouble sleeping due to breathing problems. If left untreated, the breathing problem may get worse over time. By correcting the alignment of the teeth, breathing will improve, giving you longer and more restful sleep.
Individuals with malocclusion often have crowded teeth that make oral hygiene a bit of a challenge. If you can’t clean your teeth well, the inability to adequately remove plaque deposits can result to gum disease, starting with gingivitis.
Over time, unmanaged gingivitis can advance to a more severe form of gum disease – periodontitis. Numerous studies have proven the link between periodontitis and heart problems.
Having your teeth in their proper alignment will make cleaning them much easier and, in the process, prevent periodontal disease and heart problems.
If you have any of the health issues above, one probable solution would be visiting your dentist or orthodontist to determine if it is your teeth that’s causing your malady. Your dentist or orthodontist can devise a treatment plan that will help alleviate these problems.