Myth or fact: Orthodontic treatment causes Temporomandibular Joint Disorder? Las Vegas Orthodontist
So many scientific studies have already been dedicated to discerning the relationship between orthodontic treatment and Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. Hence a lot of patients have apprehension regarding teeth/jaw alignment correction techniques. Anxiety soars high in parents when they find out that their kids have suddenly developed a TMJ after an orthodontic procedure. Myth or fact: Orthodontic treatment causes Temporomandibular Joint Disorder? Las Vegas Orthodontist
This immediately makes them jump into conclusions and link the two as the cause and effect. But is this relationship real?
In 1987, a lawsuit was filed against an orthodontist by a patient in Michigan directly blaming him for the TMJ disorder she was faced with. Since then answers have been sought to solve this question. The scientific studies that have followed have analyzed different types of bite situations and different Orthodontic procedures. The findings however are as such:
Neither does orthodontic procedure treat Temporomandibular joint disorder nor does it cause TMJ.
There are two exceptions to this general finding:
- In case of a posterior cross bite, a link was detected between TMJ and orthodontic procedure
- Also if there is an anterior open bite, an orthodontic procedure might cause TMJ.
In other bite types like underbite, overbite, crowding, misalignment orthodontic procedures have nothing to do with TMJ. Even if orthodontics cannot be applied to treat TMJ, it can be used to prevent TMJ. The studies point out that be it any tools or devices used in orthodontics, say headgear, rubber bands, oral surgery, extractions there is no cause effect relationship of TMJ and orthodontics.
A lot of conditions may be linked to the pain in the affected TMJ area. But they might have nothing to do with teeth. Serious conditions like arthritis, cancer might be the causes of the sharp pain. Majority of cases with bad bites do not even report TMJ pain. As a matter of fact, those with ideal bites have a higher percentage of reported TMJ disorder cases.