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Braces and TMJ

Clear Braces

Whether you’re an adult or teen, we all want to look our best at all times. Changing the way your teeth are structured take time and there are now ways to keep you looking your best during this period. Clear braces or ceramic braces are translucent. This new technology is available for most cases. The great benefit of these braces is that you won’t have to have that metallic look. In addition, clear braces are specifically designed so that they won’t stain or wear over time.

photo of mouth model showing clear braces

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces have been around for many years. They are the standard among patients looking to straighten their smile. Today’s contemporary branes are made of exceptionally strong metals as they need to be able to stand the test of time while they are on your teeth. While contemporary braces are metallic colored, there are a number of bands and features that can be utilized to spruce them up.


What do these initials stand for?


TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint. This is the jaw joint that hinges the lower jaw to the skull. TMD refers to disorders related to this joint. TMJD is also used when referring to a single condition relating to the jaw joint.

TMJ is pain and compromised movement of the jaw joint and the surrounding muscles. Therapies are oral appliances or a TMJ guard, anti-inflammatories, or muscle relaxers. Dr. King can also inject Botox into the jaw muscle used for chewing to relieve pain associated with the TMJ disorder.

Some of the symptoms of TMD are: 


  • Pain when opening or closing your mouth

  • Trouble chewing

  • Jaw becoming stuck open or shut

  • Headaches or ear pain

  • Clicking or popping sounds when opening your mouth

  • Teeth Grinding

Many of these symptoms can often be associated with other health problems, so only a medical professional can tell you if it is due to TMD. Teeth grinding is an especially problematic symptom because it can lead to further problems. Prolonged teeth grinding, or bruxism, can cause enamel to wear off teeth and expose dentin. This material is softer than enamel and more susceptible to decay. Sensitivity to hot and cold food or drink may also develop from excessive teeth grinding. 

If you suspect you may have TMD come in for a consultation. Call our College Park dental office at 407-425-0087 to set up an appointment. We can help diagnose and provide relief for your symptoms. Pain relievers and hot/cold compresses are short-term methods to provide relief for pain symptoms. A night guard can be used to help prevent or lessen the effects of teeth grinding at night. This can lead to a more permanent solution. In very severe cases of TMD surgery may be required, but behavioral treatments to change the way you use your jaw muscles are usually enough to provide relief.


Many people are affected with bruxism, or teeth grinding. Some people may do this consciously during the day, but it a larger problem at night while you sleep. Grinding your teeth can damage enamel, wear down teeth, cause jaw pain, or irritate your gums.


If you grind your teeth, you should consider a night guard. The night guard, which is very similar to a mouth guard worn by athletes, provides a barrier between your top and bottom teeth while you sleep. All night guards are custom fitted for comfort to allow for proper breathing. Dr. King will take an impression of your teeth and have the night guard created by a dental lab.


There are also some things you can do to try to stop teeth grinding. You can train your jaw to be free and easy rather than clenched. Refrain from chewing gum or on other objects, like pens. You should also avoid alcoholic drinks and drinks with caffeine, as these can increase the likelihood of teeth grinding. If you suspect you might be grinding your teeth at night, call us today and set up an appointment.


Mouthguards are an essential piece of equipment in contact sports.  They should be worn by athletes of all ages who participate in sports such as:

  • Football

  • Hockey

  • Lacrosse

  • Wrestling

  • Basketball

  • Baseball/Softball

  • Soccer

  • …any sport where contact is a possibility.

Wearing a mouth guard helps prevent structural damage to your teeth and jaw and also helps prevent injuries such as lacerations to your cheeks, tongue, and lips.  Mouthguards have also been shown to help decrease the risk of concussions.

Mouthguards are available in most sporting goods stores, but you should be careful when purchasing a mouthguard.  Mouthguards like this do not offer the best level of protection.  They are also usually ill-fitting and uncomfortable.  

For the highest level of comfort and protection, you should visit Dr. King for a custom mouth guard fitting.  A custom mouthguard is created specifically for the optimal protection of YOUR mouth.  It is created with thin plastic that is hardened to protect your teeth.  The thinness of the custom mouth guard allows for easy breathing and also allows for easy communication (especially important for you star quarterbacks calling out the signals).  

See Dr. King today for a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth and ensure that you maintain the highest level of performance on the field, court, or rink.

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