PALOS HILLS ORTHODONTIST
10059 S. ROBERTS RD. SUITE 2A
PALOS HILLS, IL 60465

Palos Hills IL Dentist | How Orthodontics Can Alleviate TMJ Symptoms

Palos Hills IL Orthodontist

Your temporomandibular joint serves as a hinge that connects your jaw to your skull’s temporal bones (located just in front of your ears). This joint allows you to move your jaw up and down and from side to side, motions that are necessary when you talk, chew and or even yawn. Problems with this joint can lead to a condition known as TMJ disorder that is characterized by an array of troubling symptoms, including:

•           Tenderness in the jaw area or near the ears

•           Discomfort in the neck or shoulders

•           Difficulty opening your mouth wide

•           Clicking or popping sounds when you open and close your mouth

•           Facial tiredness or fatigue

•           Trouble chewing or an uncomfortable bite

•           Facial swelling

If you have experienced any of these symptoms, contact our office to schedule an evaluation. If TMJ is the culprit, your treatment options will vary, but many patients may find relief after embarking on an orthodontic treatment plan. Depending on the root cause of your TMJ, our office may suggest several options to address your symptoms, including the use of a night guard, the placement of a TMJ appliance, or teeth straightening using some type of braces or aligners.

A night guard is exactly what it sounds like: a mouthpiece that is worn while you sleep to guard against sleep-induced teeth grinding and jaw clenching. The night guard works to alleviate TMJ symptoms by easing the pressure exerted on the temporomandibular joint. Night guards are custom molded for you by our orthodontic team so they can realign your jaw and relieve your discomfort.

Unlike a night guard, a TMJ appliance, also known as an orthodontic splint, is worn 24 hours a day. Fashioned from acrylic resin, a splint is designed to fit on top of the upper or lower teeth and helps to stabilize the teeth and/or jaws to alleviate discomfort.

If your TMJ is caused by tooth misalignment or bite problems, braces may be the most effective method to shift your teeth into the proper position. Correctly positioned teeth will ultimately help realign the temporomandibular joint, reducing or even eliminating TMJ symptoms. 

If you have been experiencing jaw pain, teeth grinding, jaw clenching, or any other symptoms associated with TMJ, a consultation with our team may be the best first step in identifying a solution. Our orthodontic office has extensive knowledge regarding how tooth alignment impacts your face and jaw muscles, and is uniquely qualified to make treatment recommendations that will keep TMJ symptoms at bay. Call our orthodontic office and schedule a consultation to learn more today.

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics
Phone: (708) 930-5941
Fax: (708) 430-5979
10059 S. Roberts Road Suite 2A
Palos Hills, IL 60465

Orthodontist Palos Hills IL | Adult Orthodontics Myths and Facts

If you are considering orthodontic treatment as an adult, chances are you have a few misconceptions about your treatment options. The field of orthodontics has come a long way in recent years, and you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that adult braces can be discreet, convenient and surprisingly affordable. Let’s debunk some common myths:

Myth: “I will need a mouth full of metal.”

Fact: While metal braces are always an option, there are many non-metal alternatives that are ideal for self-conscious adults. One of the most popular are the virtually undetectable Invisalign™ aligners that are completely clear and conveniently removable. Simply pop them out to enjoy a meal and put them in again to keep your new smile moving in the right direction.

Myth: “Braces will hurt.”

Fact: While there may be some discomfort when you first begin orthodontic treatment, most patients become accustomed to the pressure on their teeth. Regardless, the potential discomfort does not detract from our patients’ quality of life, nor does it prevent them from doing many of the things they love to do. If you still have concerns, you can talk to our orthodontists about the options you have and how to best stay comfortable during your treatment period.

Myth: “Treatment takes too long.”

Fact: Depending on your recommended treatment plan, you may find your new smile can be achieved in a much shorter time than you expected. From digital X-rays and in-office impressions, to ordering retainers and everything in between, modern tools, techniques and technology offers faster-than-ever results for patients of all ages.

Myth: “I don’t have time for office visits.”

Fact: It may seem daunting to try and fit orthodontic appointments into your already busy schedule. Thankfully, the same improvements that have significantly shortened treatment times have also made it possible to potentially extend the intervals between office visits, depending on your own personal needs.

Myth: “Adult braces are not covered by insurance.”

Fact: As with nearly everything else in the world of orthodontia, dental insurance coverage has evolved, too. There are now many dental insurance providers who will cover adult orthodontics, and not just traditional metal braces.

Think braces are just for kids? Think again. More and more adults are choosing to straighten their smiles, using an array of grown-up treatment options that are both innovative and discrete. Schedule a consultation with our Palos Hills orthodontic team today to determine which treatment plan that is right for you.

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics
Phone: (708) 930-5941
Fax: (708) 430-5979
10059 S. Roberts Road Suite 2A
Palos Hills, IL 60465