Jaw misalignment is when the upper and lower teeth do not fit together properly when the mouth is closed, causing bite problems. It can lead to issues like difficulty chewing and speaking.
Overbite and underbite are the most common types of misalignments of the jaw. In an overbite, upper teeth rest in front of lower teeth, and vice versa happens in an underbite. If the alignment of your jaw is improper, you face difficulty in everyday activities like eating and speaking. It can be painful and uncomfortable. Therefore it’s vital to fix the misaligned jaw at the earliest.
Read on to know more about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of jaw misalignment. At the end of the post, you will also get answers to some of the FAQs regarding misaligned jaw.
What are the Identifiable Misaligned Jaw Symptoms?
Are you not sure about the misalignment of your teeth or jaw? Look out for following jaw misalignment symptoms. They are a clear indication of something wrong with the jaw alignment.
- Headaches are accompanied mainly by shoulders and back pain
- Teeth getting weak and loose
- Clicking sound from the jaw and grinding
- Jaw pain
- Toothless smile
- Too small upper jaw (an indication of severe underbite)
- Difficulty in speaking, biting, and chewing
- Tooth loss
- Pain in the temples
- Gum recession as they are exposed due to being pulled back
- Excessively tight jaw
- Sound of ringing, popping, or buzzing
What Causes Misaligned Jaw?
You may have a malocclusion (teeth misalignment) from childhood, or you may witness a sudden misaligned jaw! Teeth misalignment can ultimately turn into jaw misalignment. There are various possible causes of the misaligned or uneven jaw. Check out which of the most common jaw misalignment cause you identify with! It plays a vital role in determining how to fix your misaligned jaw.
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder
TMJ is the joint between the maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw). The disorder of TMJ which is linked to the upper and lower jaw leads to severe complications like pain, inflammation, and sometimes crooked jaw.
Bruxism is a condition where you clench and grind your teeth either in sleep or in an awake state. This disturbance sometimes leads to TMJ disorder. Hence, it can also cause pain and stiffness in the jaw and sudden jaw misalignment.
Trauma or Injury
Any injury during contact sports, assault, and accident can cause the jaw to get broken or fractured. It can even get dislocated. If there are minor injuries or fractures, they’ll be healed on their own. However, a corrective surgery followed by stabilization can only help for significant trauma or injury.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Myofascial pain is a chronic pain that occurs around the jaw. When you move the jaw, it can also cause a clicking and popping sound. Face arthritis, injury, and poor posture lead to this painful syndrome which often becomes the cause of uneven jaw.
The misalignment of teeth, known as malocclusion, often becomes a reason for jaw misalignment. These crooked teeth can result from an inheritance, tooth loss, excessive thumb sucking in childhood, poorly fitting braces, etc.
Misaligned jaw, underbite, or overbite can be a congenital disability in some people. Dentists suggest supportive care such as retainers and braces to reposition the teeth. Sometimes, surgery can also be required in combination with orthodontic treatments.
What are the Treatments for Jaw Misalignment?
If your jaw misalignment is minor, you can probably go without treatment. However, you need special treatment if it’s painful and bothers you in your day-to-day activities. There are various ways to fix a misaligned jaw, but an orthodontist can only suggest a suitable option. Meanwhile, you can check out these standard misaligned jaw treatment options.
Braces for Jaw Misalignment
It is one of the most common dental appliances to correct jaw misalignment. In the traditional metal braces treatment, the brackets are attached to your teeth and tightened with the help of elastics and wires. Braces are tied to your teeth until your teeth and jaw get back in alignment.
Clear aligners are modern braces made of transparent plastic material, making it a discreet treatment. Like metal braces, clear aligners also push teeth into the correct position. They are a convenient option as they are removable.
A dental bridge fills the gap of a missing tooth or several missing teeth. So it treats an abnormal bite caused due to misalignment of teeth or tooth loss.
Misaligned Jaw Surgery
Orthodontic surgery is generally done as a last resort when all other treatments for misaligned jaw don’t work or have no possibility of treating severe case of crooked jaw. It’s often done in combination with other orthodontic treatments.
How to Treat Jaw Misalignment Pain?
The pain management in case of severe jaw misalignment or TMJ disorder can be done through the following methods:-
- Icing or Heating: Apply an ice pack or warm water to the affected area for a few minutes at regular intervals.
- Eat Right Foods: It’s crucial to avoid hard and crunchy foods like nuts and candies to avoid further pain. Eat all soft food available to you, such as boiled veggies and yogurt.
- Over-the-counter (OTC) Medications: You can get OTC pain relief and anti-inflammatory medication such as Mortin and Advil.
- Relaxation Medication: Medicines that reduce muscle tension, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressants can also be suggested to ease the pain and stress.
Jaw Misalignment FAQs:
How bad is jaw misalignment for me?
The difficulty you face due to a crooked jaw depends upon the severity of your misalignment. It can range from minor asymptomatic inconveniences to damaged teeth and jaw.
Can braces treat a misaligned jaw?
Braces fix the Malocclusion. So if misaligned teeth are the reason for your misaligned jaw, braces can resolve the issue for you. Braces can also work in combination with orthodontic surgery in some instances if your orthodontic finds it to be the proper treatment for you.
Can surgery fix a crooked jaw?
Minor cases of jaw misalignment can be treated with orthodontic appliances like braces, night guard, etc. However, severe misalignment of the jaw needs orthodontic surgery to get fixed.
Get Medical Assistance
There’s no need to endure the pain and wait when you suffer from jaw misalignment. Contact us for a Free Consultation to start treating your misaligned jaw and get the help you need to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile and comfortable bite. Our team at Brite Orthodontics is always happy to help!