Adult orthodontist Hampshire
Dental realignment is all too often seen as an adolescent or cosmetic affair but for many adult patients requiring orthodontic care this is simply untrue. Here, our orthodontist Hampshire talks about some of the consequences of misaligned teeth and the impact they can have.
The effects of misaligned teeth are subtle and very easy to put down to other conditions. This is particularly true because of the slow way that they begin to affect the patient. Any significant misalignment puts additional pressure on the joint that connects the upper and lower jaw, which is called the temporomandibular joint disorder. Although the jaw will deal with this stress for as long as it can, eventually it will begin to stiffen and you may notice locking or clicking but this is a relatively late symptom.
Signs of temporomandibular joint disorder
Long before the point where patients feel the effects of their dental misalignment in their jaw, there are lots of other symptoms that range from chronic headaches that can extend into migraine. They may also suffer from neck pain that goes from the top of the spine where the axis meets the skull, down each of the trapezoids; this pain can be disruptive to sleep, making sleeping on your right or left side difficult.
Many of these patients will also suffer night-time grinding. This is an attempt by your body to reduce the stress on your temporomandibular joint by altering the shape of your teeth, but not in a particularly effective or pleasant way. Night-time grinding often contributes to muscle-based symptoms and results in temple pain and continued ear aches with no apparent cause.
Temporomandibular joint pain often is elusive to diagnose as patients will only report symptoms to a GP that are most severe. They are often treated in isolation rather than a connection between them being noticed. If you have a suspicion that you may be suffering from a collection of symptoms stemming from a dental misalignment, an easy at home test is to see if you respond to ibuprofen and eating softer foods. If so, it makes it more likely that your headaches or sleep disturbances stem from the arrangement of your teeth and you should aim to see our orthodontist Hampshire as soon as possible.
Temporomandibular joint disorder treatment
We would be happy to see you in the clinic and discuss what sort of treatment options are available. Our orthodontist Hampshire can offer many options for adult realignment of teeth.
The traditional metal brace is not the only option for correcting a badly fitting awkward bite. In the short-term, alternating ice and heat packs on the size of the face can provide short-term relief from symptoms.
Many patients who avoid dental treatment long enough to experience temporomandibular pain also have their concerns about dentists and dentistry in general. We are very empathetic to patients who have an aversion to dentists either because of previous experience or a general sense of unease from being in a vulnerable position, but you do not have to continue to suffer.
If the situation sounds familiar to you or any of your family members, please feel free to get in contact with the clinic. We would be happy to answer any further questions over the phone and help you seek treatment.