I am on tray 6 of Invisalign and am having problems with pain in my jaw and headaches. Do other people have this problem? I am wondering if I am having TMJ.
Invisalign and TMJ
Doctor Answers 6
Be careful proceding with your Invisalign if your TMJ symptoms continue...
In general, your body does not like change. Although our bodies, especially our temporalmandibular joints, are quite adaptable, dyfunction and symptoms in these joints is common. The cause of symptoms, however, is extremely multifactorial. Tooth movement can exacerbate an underlying problem and bring about your TMJ symptoms. With all of your patients, regardless of treatment, we warn them that if they start developing TMJ symptoms, that treatment may need to be put on hold, and that they have to go through a separate phase of treatment, usually involving a splint, until their symptoms have alleviated. Then, they MAY by a candidate to finish treatment.
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Not usually the case
Your reaction to Invisalign is not common but this can happen. Generally speaking TMJ symptoms improve with those using Invisalign, but not always. Depending on where the pain is coming from would help determine the cause. There are a number of things happening that could cause the symptoms.
Most often when your symptoms occur, and it is only with a few, wearing the Aligners triggers clenching. This is the opposite with most patients.
Only testing various scenarios can you come up with the correct answer. Therefore, if the problem continues, only visiting your provider or someone else will correct the problem.
Then again, the problem could disappear on its own.
Invisalign and TMJ
Align Technology (makers of Invisalign) recommends NOT treating any patient using Invisalign who has symptoms of TMJ. Changing the way a patient bites can indeed increase symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction. I would be VERY careful allowing any dentist or orthodontist to move your teeth if they can NOT adequately explain the relationship of TMJ to a person's bite.
Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction can include: headaches (including migraines), neck aches, back aches, ear pain, ringing or buzzing in the ears, clicking or popping in the jaws, sinus "fullness", facial pain, chronic fatigue, inability to focus or concentrate and even depression.
As you can see, TMJ Dysfunction can be an extremely debilitating disease and should be taken very seriously.
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Invisalign and TMJ
There are many causes for TMJ and Orthodontics or Invisalign are not the cause.
A person is predisposed due to genetic factors, habits, bite problems,etc. Most of these predispositions become true problems when stress occurs.
You may want to seek care from a local Dentist that has advanced training in TMJ issues if your symptoms do not improve as headache and jaw pain are key indicators of TMJ dysfunction.
The Invisalign may alleviate the symptoms over time as well.
Orthodontics including Invisalign and Braces can precipitate TMJ problems.
TMJ Dysfunction can result from tooth movements if the TMJ's are not in a healthy functioning position to begin with. This is what you are describing . Otherwise the slight movement into tray 6 would not be enough to cause the problem. Your dentist/orthodontist may not have picked this up in the evaluation. Disucss your situation with them to come up with a solution. Invisalign, or braces for that matter should not be used to treat TMJ Dysfunction if the dysfunction is present when starting treatment.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.