I’ve been using Invisalign for about three months now and most of the time it is awesome. One thing that does worry me is that whenever I put in a brand new pair of aligners, it causes my jaw to ache for a few days. Is it possible that this treatment is actually causing me to develop TMJ Disorder? My friend who has that said her first symptom was her jaw aching.
TMJ Disorder is when there is a problem with the temporomandibular joint in your jaw. It’s the hinge joint. Sometimes, TMJ problems can be caused by having a bite that is out of alignment. However, you are working to straighten your teeth and are getting them in alignment, so that would not be an issue. In fact, sometimes orthodontics is the “cure” for TMJ Disorder.
Of course, it is possible, if you went to a horrible orthodontist who provided you with braces that messed up your bite, you could end up with some TMJ problems. However, Invisalign is designed with sophisticated computer software and is more accurate than what you would normally get.
What is Causing the Ache?
So, if Invisalign is so awesome why is your jaw aching when you first pop in those new aligners? The most likely cause is that your teeth are shifting. In the first couple of days when you place in your newest set of aligners, you will notice that they are a bit snug. That is because they are shifting your teeth into the new position. After two or three days, the aligners will feel looser and the aching will subside. This is because they are now in the next designated position for your treatment plan.
Don’t Try to Speed Up Your Treatment
Some patients, in an effort to speed up their treatment, will put in the next pair of aligners as soon as their new ones loosen up a bit. However, this is a dangerous thing to do. Yes, your teeth are in their new position. However, the remainder of the time you are supposed to wear those aligners is so the bone has time to integrate with the teeth in the newer position.
If you don’t give it that time, there will gradually be an ever widening gap between your teeth roots and the bone, which can cause your teeth to come loose and even fall out. So, make sure you use them as prescribed.
If the achiness of the first few days is getting to you, I have a couple of recommendations that should help. First, you can try changing out your aligners at night, so you can sleep through most of the initial achiness. A second thing you can do is take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory.
A Secret Benefit to Invisalign
Did you know that your Invisalign aligners can actually double as teeth whitening trays? This means you can straighten and whiten your teeth simultaneously at a fraction of the cost it would normally be. Simply ask your dentist for some professional strength teeth whitening gel and wear it in your aligners at your convenience.
This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Dentist Dr. Ryan Noah.