A misaligned jaw is a problem most people have but cannot recognize. A common misconception is that it is just a cosmetic problem and people hesitate to fix it. Contrary to popular belief, facial asymmetry and jaw alignment are not just related to appearance. a faulty jaw can lead to severe health problems.
Continue reading this article for a perfect guide on how to fix asymmetrical jaw, including identification, symptoms, causes, and the various treatment options available for the condition.
A. HOW TO IDENTIFY IF YOUR JAW IS ASYMMETRICAL/ SYMPTOMS
Before answering the question, how to fix asymmetrical jaw, one should know how to identify if their jaw is asymmetrical or not. A problem most people face is not being able to identify if they have a crooked jaw, hence they are unable to get suitable dental treatments for it.
Here are some factors that can help you to identify if your problems are due to jaw asymmetry:
The most basic way is to see if your facial structure is uneven. The midline of your teeth may not align with the rest of your face. This is more prominent when you smile. Crooked teeth or crowding on either the upper jaw or lower jaw can also be observed. Most people can start wondering how to fix asymmetrical jaw due to aesthetic reasons.
Pain motivates the question ‘how to fix asymmetrical jaw’ for some people. An asymmetrical face will not just alter your appearance but can also cause headaches, pain, and discomfort while you bite or grind your food. These pains normally occur because the facial muscles are trying to over-compensate for the bite misalignment caused due to uneven jaw. You may also experience discomfort even while breathing.
3. TMJ DISORDER
In most cases, TMJ disorder is a common symptom of an uneven jaw. If you want to know how to fix asymmetrical jaw, you must know about TMJ.
TMJ or temporomandibular joint is a synovial joint that acts as a hinge to connect your jawbone to the skull.
The main role of this joint is to ensure you can bite, talk and yawn and aligns your upper jaw and lower jaw to perform the other oral functions.
The temporomandibular joint is concave and when there is a disorder the concavity is lost and the joint becomes flat due to overuse. Inflammation is also observed as a result of arthritis leading to temporomandibular joint disorder. The disorder is caused due to change in the jaw position, strains the mouth, and may also cause pain because easy tasks require more effort now.
4. FAILING DENTAL WORK
Facial asymmetry causes teeth to collide with each other and may lead to loss of teeth and cavities. Dental treatments done previously like caps, fillings, and crown may fail to continue to protect your teeth as a result of your crooked jaw. Your dentist will tell you how to fix asymmetrical jaw and preserve the work they have done for your teeth previously.
B. CAUSES OF FACIAL ASYMMETRY
If you want to know how to fix asymmetrical jaw, you must have a sound knowledge of its causes. A lot of aspects contribute to an asymmetrical face and it is important to identify the causes to proceed with the diagnosis and therapeutics.
Some of the major causes of an uneven jaw and the resulting facial asymmetry are listed below:
1. BIRTH DEFECTS/ CONGENITAL CONDITION
Not everyone has perfect facial symmetry at birth. Asymmetrical features can be observed at the time of birth itself in some people. The shape of a person’s face at birth may be crooked, leading to a faulty jaw. Doctors might tell you how to fix asymmetrical jaw in children and you can start following the recommended measures from that time itself.
An asymmetrical face may be caused by an accident. Even if you were born with symmetrical features, an accident may cause your jaws to misalign from their original position.
A fall while playing sports or car and bike accidents can cause broken jaws leading to asymmetry. An impact on the face may change the structure of the jaw bones and cause asymmetry.
3. ALIGNMENT OF TEETH
If your teeth are uneven, the jaws will undergo structural changes and develop differently. Crooked teeth will strain the jaw muscles and not permit the jaws to achieve a correct bite or settle in their regular position.
This strain can lead to asymmetry of jaws and an uneven bite. This may also lead one side to look larger than the other. Teeth may also force the muscles to one side leading to deviations.
Now that we have observed the possible causes of an asymmetrical jaw, let us now know how to fix asymmetrical jaw and the alignment of teeth with easy methods.
C. TREATMENT FOR A CROOKED JAW
When you observe any of the symptoms, the first step should be to visit a dental professional to determine a line of treatment.
The only side-effect of an uneven jaw may just be a crooked smile, disfigured chin or any other appearance issue that may not require jaw surgery or any other form of treatment. However, severe cases will cause health problems and more serious cases will require surgical corrections.
Some of the available treatment options for correcting asymmetrical jaw are
1. COSMETIC DENTISTRY
A crooked smile, disfigured chin, or misaligned teeth may cause a person to get insecure about their appearance. Even if these cases do not affect the well-being of a person, there are options to fix the jaw easily for aesthetic purposes.
However, a cosmetic remedy will not correct any health-related problems caused by jaw misalignment. It involves the usage of mild remedial measures to alter the facial appearance for the aesthetic satisfaction of an individual.
2. NON SURGICAL TREATMENT
If you are wondering how to fix asymmetrical jaw non-surgically, there are some easy ways. If the diagnosis calls for dental treatments, it is important to note that there are many dental services available that do not require surgery. The condition may lead to health issues but they may not necessarily be severe. To treat such cases, the following options are available.
One of the most potent methods on our ‘how to fix asymmetrical jaw’ list is by the help of exercises.
Physical therapy is the way to achieve your desired result. Physical therapy is very useful to cure jaw asymmetry. It comprises exercises that aim to increase jaw flexibility and other external dental treatments. Exercising strengthens the muscles, stretches, and relaxes the jaw.
Heat and ice therapy are other forms of physical therapy too that can be used to treat jaw asymmetry. Heat therapy is very effective to enhance the circulation of blood whereas ice therapy is mostly used to relieve pain.
Goldfish exercises, side-to-side jaw movement, tongue-up movements are some recommended exercises to get a symmetrical jaw. However, we do recommend that jaw exercises should be done only after your physician has determined the nature of your problem.
Braces are widely used to treat misalignment. They get the teeth to align properly, ensuring a natural bite and asymmetrical face.
This orthodontic treatment gets rid of problems related to malocclusion as well. Jawlines are more enhanced after using braces. Underbite and overbite which cause chewing difficulties can also be treated by braces.
Metal, self-ligating, lingual, and ceramic braces are the major types available. They comprise brackets that are attached to the teeth and connected by wires. These wires may remain inside the mouth or outside. In the case of headgear braces, the wires are connected by straps and go around the head.
Braces typically take 6 to 8 months to produce the desired result. Retainers need to be worn after this to retain the changes and to ensure that the teeth do not go back to their original position.
Veneers are also used to correct the alignment and the irregularity of the teeth. Veneers are shells that cover the front of the teeth. They are thin materials that are custom-made to suit your tooth color. They are slightly expensive and have several risks that need to be considered before usage.
3. JAW SURGERY
A dentist can recommend surgery as the last retort for some extreme cases when asked how to fix asymmetrical jaw.
Jaw surgery is the final method when other remedial measures do not work. Surgical correction of a jaw is also known as orthognathic surgery. Surgery is only advised for severe cases. When the jaws are too far apart, surgery is the way to go. It improves speech, the airway to facilitate regular breathing, and other oral functions.
The treatment is planned out on a computer. 3-D cutting guides are made, and customized plates are created. The surgery is not complicated and has a quick recovery time. You do not have to wire your mouth shut and can resume regular activities within a week of surgery.
Since orthodontic corrections cannot solve all the problems, surgery is the best option to fix asymmetric jaw. Here is a short video to understand better:
D. HOW TO LIVE WITH AN ASYMMETRICAL JAW
If your condition does not call for fixing either surgically or non-surgically, it is still imperative to maintain oral hygiene and take care of your teeth. If you have given up looking for an answer to how to fix asymmetrical jaw, you must do your best to take care of your jaw the way it is.
Incorporate the following measures into your daily routine to practice good oral hygiene:
- Use brushes with soft bristles and brush your teeth at least twice every day. Brushing your teeth after every meal will help you get rid of any residual bits of food that might cause cavities and other related issues.
- Use a fluoridated mouthwash to rinse your mouth.
- Floss every day to remove bacteria and plaque.
- Your diet is also very important in maintaining oral hygiene. Eating acidic food might corrode your tooth. Consuming excess sugar-containing food can lead to gum disease, especially if you are already diabetic.
- Alcohol must be consumed in limited quantities. Smoking and chewing tobacco are hazardous for multiple reasons including oral hygiene.
- Vising a dentist at least twice a year, even if you do not have any dental problems is recommended to identify the symptoms of any disease and stop it at the onset.
This article is intended for informational purposes only. For more informative articles click here. It is important to note that when you experience any of the symptoms listed above, you should visit medical professionals, ask them how to fix asymmetrical jaw, and do as recommended by them only. The methods of treating an uneven or symmetric face vary from person to person depending on the intensity of their condition. A dental professional will be able to identify the underlying cause and treat it accordingly.
Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.