If you’re someone who regularly wakes up with headaches, a sore jaw, or tooth pain, it’s very likely that you grind or clench your teeth at night. This could be temporary, caused by a stressful time in your life, or you could have a problem with your temporomandibular joint caused by jaw misalignment. One possible solution? Braces. Many adults wonder if Invisalign, in particular, could be the solution to their pain.
The Side Effects of Grinding Your Teeth
Sleep bruxism has many unwanted side effects, from cracked teeth to worn enamel to gum recession. It’s a painful condition to live with because even though the grinding and clenching happens at night, you can feel the effects of it throughout the day in your mouth, face, and neck.
Both Invisalign and conventional metal braces can be used to reposition the upper and lower jaws and align your entire smile. Can this stop you from grinding your teeth? It’s possible.
What If You Already Wear a Night Guard?
If you already wear a night guard, you’ll want to have a serious talk with your Woodinville orthodontist about what will work best for you and your lifestyle. It’s important to discuss whether Invisalign is a viable option. Invisalign aligners must be worn 20 to 22 hours a day for the treatment to be effective – so this means they must be in your mouth while you’re sleeping.
Clear aligners could help with a mild grinding problem by acting as a protective barrier like a night guard, but the aligners could also wear down quickly from severe clenching and grinding. The good news is that each set of aligners is only worn for about two weeks during treatment, so ideally they won’t have much time to wear out before they’re due to be switched out for new ones.
How Invisalign Can Fix Teeth Grinding
To get the most benefit from Invisalign and truly relieve the symptoms of TMJ disorder, the aligners must be worn as instructed – all day, every day, only removed during meals and cleanings. If you’re debating between a night guard and Invisalign, here are some facts to keep in mind:
- Invisalign could protect your teeth from grinding while aligning your teeth at the same time.
- Invisalign adjusts your bite – permanently.
- Invisalign can minimize and potentially eliminate jaw pain.
- Invisalign can reprogram the muscles that are involved in the teeth grinding.
When teeth are aligned properly, the TMJ is permitted to open and close freely without suffering any pain or experiencing deterioration. The stress on the jaw joint is relieved, preventing inflammation, soreness, and irritation.
Is Invisalign Right for You?
Invisalign isn’t the right solution for every person with a TMJ problem. For some people, wearing aligners may make them want to clench their teeth more. What’s most important is working with a Woodinville orthodontist who is prepared to go over all the options and possibilities with you. Together, you will determine whether Invisalign is the right treatment to correct your teeth grinding, whether another type of orthodontics is better, or if aligning your teeth is unlikely to help.
Braces are meant to give you a beautiful smile, yes, but most importantly to give you a smile that is pain-free and healthy. Schedule a consultation with Soleil Orthodontics in Woodinville, Washington, to talk about Invisalign and find out whether you are a good candidate for this alignment method.