Davisburg Dentist Discusses Whether TMJ Disorder is Caused by Bicuspid Extraction

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A pretty smile is not always a matter of good DNA. When teeth are formed, they line up side-by-side, anchored to the jawbone. A small or narrow jawbone may cause teeth to be overcrowded, resulting in rows of crooked, misaligned teeth. Unfortunately, when teeth are misaligned a person may experience mild discomfort to severe pain in their jaw, face, and head. When this occurs, many people choose to consult an orthodontist to seek out corrective options.

The orthodontist may suggest the extraction of the four bicuspid teeth, also known as premolars, to make room on the jawbone for the other teeth. The extraction of teeth often precludes orthodontic treatment to bring the teeth into proper alignment. Bicuspid teeth are located directly between the canine teeth and molars. Some patients may be hesitant to remove any teeth, even to complete orthodontic correction.

Will Bicuspid Extraction Cause TMJ Disorder?

Many people who visit our office near Davisburg have heard that removing bicuspid teeth prior to braces can result in misalignment of the jawbone joint, commonly known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Research has not been able to fully substantiate this assumption. Dentists agree that TMJ headaches are caused by:

  • The joint disk that holds the top and bottom jaws together erodes causing poor jawbone alignment
  • Arthritis can damage the joint’s cartilage
  • Damage to the jawbone caused by physical impact

These three scenarios are the only known causes of TMJ disorder. Studies agree that temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) are the result of damage to the jawbone, its cartilage or its alignment. After bicuspid tooth removal, a headgear device may be used to pull upper teeth back. This can cause the lower mandible to not align properly with the upper mandible, which damages the joint cartilage. Although tooth alignment does shift during the orthodontic process, it is jawbone misalignment that results in TMD issues. Removal of bicuspid teeth is not the direct cause of TMJ damage. Rather, a factor in joint irritation could be the orthodontic process used to align the remaining teeth after extraction.

Our dental care professionals and TMJ doctors at Metro Imaging Center care about your oral health. If you are experiencing pain in your mouth, jaw, or areas around the face and head, please contact Metro Imaging Center at (248) 716-8572 to schedule your TMJ treatment assessment.