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FAQ:  Adult Orthodontics

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Orthodontics Ask The Dentist - Edward Leventhal Question:
I have braces on at this time. I was told I have TMJ. However I have a gummy smile and also my teeth are severely stained from medications, because I have asthma. I was wondering if I could just take the braces off and get gum surgery, and get veneers for my stained teeth.

The dentist also told me since I have TMJ that I have to have jaw surgery. Is this true? I am very depressed because of my teeth and hate to smile what can I do? I have been going through this for 5 years now this is my second set of braces. Please help me. ...Celeste

Celeste, I'm sorry you feel depressed about what you're going through.

First of all, being diagnosed with TMJ could mean a lot of things. If your bite is off, it 'could' make your joints tender and eventually painful. Not everyone has TMJ surgery. Your having Joint tenderness has to be addressed. Have you had MRI's (magnetic resonance imaging) to determine if your joints are healthy to begin with before braces?

Second, gum surgery will not necessarily make you less gummy looking. Please have a second and even third opinion with orthodontists to get yourself better informed, so you can make the right decision.

Again, just a reminder, you will get through this ....things may seem a little overwhelming at times, but keep talking to other professionals, and you will feel more informed and better able to make decisions without getting so depressed. Hope this helps!

Edward Leventhal, DDS
Baltimore Cosmetic Implant Dentistry
8860 Belair Road
Baltimore, MD 21236
(410) 256-7300

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