I Had Braces, Now My Jaw Hurts: Can Orthodontics Cause TMD/TMJ?

You had braces when you were younger and never experienced any jaw pain or other TMD/TMJ symptoms prior. Then, after you completed your orthodontic treatment, you developed a pain in your jaw, maybe accompanied by popping, locking, clenching and grinding. Maybe you developed these symptoms shortly after having your braces removed, maybe it was a decade later. Either way, could these two things be related?

What is TMJ?

First, let us explain a little bit about TMJ—what it is, what causes it, and how it’s treated. TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, or the jaw joint. TMD stands for temporomandibular joint dysfunction and is used to describe any condition affecting the jaw joint—but TMJ is often used to describe the dysfunction as well.

Your TMJ is a complex structure made up of muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bones, lubricating systems, and shock-absorbing discs—all of which are subject to strain, sprain, and injury just like your other joints like your knees and shoulders. There are many factors that may contribute to TMJ dysfunction, including stress, injuries, habitual behaviors, as well as tooth alignment and bite problems.

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“Lasers”: A Groovy Tool for Dentists

At Creative Dental Solutions, we take pride in staying ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest and greatest in dental treatments and technologies. That’s why we think dental “lasers” are truly smashing. And if you’re worried about paying one million dollars, rest assured laser treatments are more accessible and affordable than ever. Austin Powers jokes aside, we’re here to tell you how lasers work in dentistry and how they can benefit your smile—and make for a more comfortable dental experience!

How do dental lasers work?

Advanced laser technology has been one of the most important improvements in modern medicine and dentistry, allowing us to hang up our other tools while providing treatments that are less invasive, more comfortable, and with healthier results than ever before.

All lasers work by creating energy in the form of light, but the precise function in dentistry depends on the type of procedure. With surgical and other types of restorative dental treatments, the laser functions as a cutting device, replacing sharp dental tools, or as a vaporizer of diseased or decayed tissue—leaving healthy tissue intact. For teeth whitening, the laser functions as a heat source to speed up and enhance the effects of bleaching agents.

No Fear Here

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The Good, The Bad & The Crossbite

If your teeth or jaw don’t line up well with each other, you may have a crossbite. Bangor dentist Dr. James Sevey explains more about this condition, its effects and what you can do to treat it below.

A Good Bite

In a perfect world, your teeth would all be straight, and your upper jaw would rest nicely on top of and just a little in front of your bottom jaw. Of course, this frequently isn’t the case. Sometimes teeth are crooked or twisted and sometimes your top jaw rests awkwardly on your bottom jaw. How your teeth and jaw line up together is called your “bite.”

When we talk about this alignment, the medical term is “occlusion.” If you have a problem with your bite or alignment, it’s called “malocclusion.” Crossbite is a condition of malocclusion.

A Bad Bite

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Filling in the Gaps: Restoring Your Smile & Quality of Life

Life is full of unexpected surprises, and while we’d love for all of them to be smile-inducing, that’s not entirely realistic—and there may be many reasons you hide your smile. If you’re hiding your smile because of one or more missing teeth, we want you to know you’re not alone. In fact, 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth, and more than 36 million Americans do not have any teeth at all.

Whether the cause is tooth decay, gum disease—#1 on the list of reasons, with 50% of Americans over the age of 30 having the most severe form of periodontitis—illness, or injury, there are solutions. The Bangor dentists of Creative Dental Solutions would like to fill you in on your options, which have expanded and improved over the years thanks to technological advancements and continuing education.

An Ounce of Prevention

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I Had Braces, Now My Jaw Hurts: Can Orthodontics Cause TMJ?

You had braces when you were younger and never experienced any jaw pain or other TMJ symptoms prior. Then, after you completed your orthodontic treatment, you developed a pain in your jaw, maybe accompanied by popping, locking, clenching and grinding. Maybe you developed these symptoms shortly after having your braces removed, maybe it was a decade later. Either way, could these two things be related?

What is TMJ?

First, let Creative Dental Solutions explain a little bit about TMJ—what it is, what causes it, and how it’s treated. TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, or the jaw joint. TMD stands for temporomandibular joint dysfunction and is used to describe any condition affecting the jaw joint—but TMJ is often used to describe the dysfunction as well.

Your TMJ is a complex structure made up of muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bones, lubricating systems, and shock-absorbing discs—all of which are subject to strain, sprain, and injury just like your other joints like your knees and shoulders. There are many factors that may contribute to TMJ dysfunction, including stress, injuries, habitual behaviors, as well as tooth alignment and bite problems.

Read more ›

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Biofilm: The Most Important Film of the Year

is quite literally a “film” or layer of biological matter that forms on teeth, in sink pipes, on river rocks, and more. Biofilm is made of many different things. Think of it as concrete, which contains cement as well as a slew of other materials. It’s likely you’ve been aware of biofilm on your teeth when they feel slimy or fuzzy instead of smooth and clean. Bangor dentists, Dr. Sevey and Dr. Sigwart explain more below about biofilm and the role it plays in your oral wellness. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Dental Health

5 Natural Ways to Sleep Better

We think fondly of it, we all want it – why is it so hard to find? We’re talking about sleep, of course. A poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that 60% of adults report having trouble sleeping almost every night, with 63% saying their sleep needs are not being met.

Like water, a healthy diet, and breathing, sleep is essential to support every part of your health. Sleep is when our bodies rest, repair, and run a lot of self-maintenance. Studies show that not getting enough sleep can harm your memory, your heart health, your immune system, and make you gain excess weight.

Sometimes sleep loss is a real medical issue that needs to be treated by a doctor (your Bangor dentist can help with sleep apnea). But if you’re just dealing with the common troubles of settling down and enjoying your sleep, we’ve got sleep tips that are all natural and easy to incorporate into your life…starting tonight! Read more ›

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Can Poor Oral Health Cause Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic and complicated disease that affects how your body processes sugar—its main source of energy. Diabetes symptoms mostly affect your heart, eyes, nerves, and kidneys, but it can affect your whole body, including your mouth.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), more than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and almost 2 million new cases are diagnosed each year. Managing your blood sugar is very important if you have diabetes and will help keep symptoms at bay. Taking good care of your oral wellness is actually one key to managing blood sugar. Read more ›

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Can Plaque Cause Tooth Loss?

If you’ve ever gone too long between brushing your teeth, you know how slimy and dirty your teeth can feel. Some people lovingly call this layer of grime “teeth sweaters.” But it has a real name: plaque. Plaque is common but it can cause poor oral health if you ignore it. Read below for more information on what plaque is and how to deal with it. Read more ›

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What’s Lurking in Your Saliva?

Saliva. Just the word can conjure an array of images in your imagination. From salivating at a delicious meal to studying Pavlov’s dogs to watching a baseball player spit, life is full of saliva! And that’s a good thing because saliva is very important for oral and overall health. Problems with saliva can lead to dry mouth, cavities, and bad breath. Read more below from Bangor dentists, Dr. Sevey and Dr. Sigwart to learn more about your saliva. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Dental Health
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