Can Invisalign Correct Bite Problem from TMJ?

I've had a perfect bite all of these years. Last year, due to the stress of having painful physical injuries, I started grinding again after many years. I started having TMJ pain for the first time in my life (lower jaw, right side).

Now, I've noticed that my perfect bite is gone. I can literally feel my lower teeth shifting forward. The pain in my mandible is worse. When I bite down, my top perfect teeth exactly meet with my bottom teeth.

I went to an oral surgeon, and he said that I may need orthodontic help. Will Invisalign braces help my situation, and can they be placed only on the bottom teeth?

Doctor Answers 5

TMJ is multifactorial, correcting the bite may help, but no guarantee!

Putting your teeth in the proper position may make you less likely to grind your teeth, but there is no guarantee. Grinding is frequently stress related and many people with perfect occlusion grind their teeth.

From what you are describing, it seems like your teeth have shifted over the years which may not necessarily be related to the grinding. Using invisalign to put your teeth in the proper occlusion may be an option, and wearing the aligners 20-22 hours a day, will prevent damage to your teeth from grinding as the aligners act as a protective coating and may even help your grinding. You may want to consider getting a niteguard after your teeth are in the proper occlusion to help with your gridning habit.

It would depend on your case as to whether or not treatment of just the lower arch is an option.

New York Orthodontist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Invisalign can help bruxism, crossbites, and malaligned teeth

Invisalign is another modality in the movement of teeth. It can be tremendously more efficient to use invisalign with people that are bruxers and grinders. People that brux their teeth are more prone to breakage of wires and broken braces which slows down treatment. The Invisalgn product also cause the madible to be positiond anteriorly in the glenoid foss which takes pressure off the temporalmandibular joint.

R. Scott Smith, DMD
Springfield Orthodontist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Invisalign isn't the best when dealing with TMJ issues

Quite often when orthodontics can help with TMJ is when the teeth have become worn down. Orthodontics can "verticalize" teeth (raise lower teeth up and upper teeth down). This gets the nose and chin at the right distance (if they get too close together, the joint gets strained).

This is assuming braces can help, and sometimes it can. Invisalign has a challenging time verticalizing teeth (if often can't).

The first step in helping your TMJ situation is getting a proper diagnosis and resolution of pain. From THAT point, you can determine if braces can help.

Lance Timmerman, DMD, MAGD
Seattle Dentist
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Invisalign to correct jaw problem after accident

I'm not sure what kind of trauma your jaw sustained from your incident -- broken jaw...broken condyle? Depending on the injury, this may be a touchy case unless you are in excellent hands. I would seek a highly experienced dentist/oral surgeon team to evaluate your case and move forward. If your case requires orthodontics, surgery or a combination of these, your perfect teeth will still look perfect at the end of treatment as long as you're working with an experienced team. Find a dentist who regularly teams with an oral surgeon and orthodontist on these types of cases. Good Luck!

Susan Goode Estep, DMD
Atlanta Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

TMJ and Invisalign

You stated that your bite comes together perfectly.

The body is amazing. Your muscles can adapt to even some of the worst bites. Only a dentist who is trained in occlusion and TMJ can truely determine if your bite needs changing.

Depending on the dentist these changes can be done with regular braces or Invisalign. It is considerably more difficult with invisalign and it is unlikely that only doing the lower will work. Either way, once the braces/invisalign are done, the dentist will still need to do some adjusting to your bite.

Not fixing your bite can lead to more issues, even when the pain goes away the damage can be continuing.

You were right to be concerned.

Annalee S. Kruyer DDS
Las Vegas Dentist

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.