Can Dental Work Cause TMJ?

Dentist in Calgary Serving Northwest, Downtown, and Nearby Calgary, Alberta


TMJ disorder, also abbreviated TMD, is a condition that causes a number of painful or uncomfortable symptoms. One of the main causes of TMD is a misaligned jaw, which can happen after certain types of dental work. It can also occur due to missing or damaged teeth, which dental work can help to repair.Man sitting on steps, holding head because he has a headache caused by TMJ disorder

If you recently had dental work done and are experiencing TMJ symptoms, call Dr. Kendra Schick at 403-208-9965 for a consultation. She can examine your teeth and jaw and help determine the likely cause of your TMJ disorder, and suggest a treatment plan.

Orthodontic Dental Work and TMJ

The type of dental work most likely to cause TMJ is orthodontics. This is because shifting the teeth requires care and precision, and popular treatments such as Invisalign have limited ability to be completely customized. Your teeth, jaw, and entire face should be considered when embarking upon a journey to straighten your teeth, as focusing on the teeth alone can potentially trigger TMJ.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t have your teeth straightened. Crooked or misaligned teeth can cause other problems and should be addressed. Dr. Schick offers full face orthodontics for her patients, which has a number of benefits, including:

  • Full face orthodontics addresses the entire face, not just the teeth
  • Reduced risk of developing TMJ disorder
  • Jaw expansion provides room for all teeth, eliminating the need for extractions
  • Full face orthodontic treatment is fully personalized for your unique situation and anatomy

Other types of dental work can also cause TMJ symptoms. If a dental crown or dental implant is placed incorrectly or is the incorrect shape for the mouth, it can cause bite misalignment which in turn leads to TMJ. However, a dentist with experience and attention to detail should be able to place dental restorations in a way that does not interfere with your bite.

Treatment for TMJ Disorder

Depending on the cause of your TMD, there are a number of different treatment options that could be explored. Typically, short-term treatment will include TENS therapy to relax the jaw muscles, using a warm compress on the jaw, and using over the counter pain relievers.

Long term treatment options can include:

  • A night guard, if your TMJ is caused by teeth grinding at night.
  • Restorative dental work, if your TMJ is caused by a misaligned bite. This can include dental implants to replace missing teeth, orthodontic treatment to straighten the teeth and re-align the jaw, or dental crowns to strengthen and support damaged teeth.
  • Revision dental work, if your TMJ was caused by incomplete or incorrectly done previous dental work.
  • A repositioning dental splint, which is used to help reposition your bite and relax your jaw.

Dr. Schick will listen to your dental and medical history, examine your teeth and jaw, and help diagnose and treat your TMJ disorder. Each patient is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan. Dr. Schick gives each patient the individual attention and care they deserve.

Schedule Your TMJ Consultation

If you have been experiencing jaw pain, headaches, earaches, or other TMJ symptoms, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Schick at Evolution Dental by calling 403-208-9965 today. We serve patients in Northwest, Downtown, and nearby Calgary, Alberta.