One of the reasons your jaw is out of alignment is that your upper and lower teeth aren’t meeting comfortably. Overbite and underbite are types of jaw misalignment. The good thing is that there’s a range of options to treat this condition. However, the process can take longer to correct it.
Having a Misaligned Jaw
The effects of this condition can be depressing to some. If it’s severe enough, it can affect eating, breathing, and speech. When the jaw isn’t moving, it causes severe discomfort and pain.
Children with this condition may experience being teased by their peers. Or they’re self-conscious about their underbite or overbite.
The treatment for misaligned jaw can vary from one patient to another. But the options would include surgery, orthodontic work, and cosmetic dentistry. The option chosen would depend on the severity of the condition.
Are braces the standard option?
Wearing of braces is the standard option for a misaligned jaw. So, it’s not only for crowded or crooked teeth. The usual treatment involves cementing brackets to the teeth and connects them using a wire.
The wire is tightened after two to three years. Tightening causes the teeth to move and allow the jaw to be aligned properly. This treatment is the go-to option for patients with an overbite. That is, their upper jaw is too far forward while the teeth are protruding.
Headgear braces are also an option. They’re advised when the misaligned is severe for regular braces to handle. They’re worn up to 14 hours a day to ensure their effectiveness.
Or you may opt for a reverse-pull face mask. It’s similar to headgear braces. The only difference is that it’s worn every night.
An upper jaw expander may also be used to correct underbite. It fits in your upper palate. Every night, you need to widen the expander using a key. It can take a year or so to expand the upper jaw and achieve proper alignment.
It’s recommended for patients with mild condition of jaw misalignment. Your dentist may reshape your lower teeth and install veneer to the upper teeth. It may not fix the misalignment. But it makes the condition less noticeable.
For patients with severe jaw misalignment, surgery may be the best option. It’s especially true if the misalignment affects your everyday functions, like speaking, sleeping and eating.
The best treatment options will depend on the severity of your condition. Your dentist will perform a thorough examination of your mouth and oral health. A dental x-ray may be necessary to examine your jaw.
While suffering from jaw misalignment, it’s vital that you practice good oral hygiene. In this way, you won’t suffer from dental cavities. Keep in mind that a misaligned jaw can cause you to miss out cleaning some areas of your mouth, leading to carries.
If you’re using an orthodontic device for your jaw, it’s especially challenging to clean your teeth. But ensure that you brush twice a day and use fluoride toothpaste. Don’t forget to floss at least twice a day.