What kind of problems can arise from having a misaligned jaw?

Has your dentist informed you that you might have misaligned jaws? Perhaps you have already been referred to an oral surgeon for a consultation. Having misaligned jaws can have far-reaching effects on your oral health and quality of life. Fortunately, jaw surgery can correct the alignment of your jaws so that you can enjoy comfortable oral function and safeguard your oral health. If you have misaligned jaws, it is very important to seek out professional treatment. This is because issues with jaw alignment can contribute to TMJ disorder, worn dentition, and diseased/damaged teeth.

TMJ Disorder

The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) connects the lower jaw to the skull. This joint is what makes all mouth movement possible. If the jaws are misaligned, however, this joint can dysfunction. Repeated dysfunction of the TMJ can lead to TMJ disorder, which presents a number of symptoms – many of them painful. Common symptoms and side effects associated with TMJ disorder include popping sensations during mouth movement, headaches, facial pain, and the mouth “locking up.” If restorative dentistry or orthodontics cannot mitigate symptoms, corrective jaw surgery is usually necessary.

Worn Dentition

Misaligned jaws will affect the way that our teeth line up. When our teeth are not lined up properly, they will make contact where they shouldn’t. This can lead to worn dentition or “tooth wear”. Worn dentition can exacerbate symptoms like orofacial pain or reduced oral function. Tooth wear also means that teeth can develop permanent damage from repeatedly making improper contact. If a tooth is worn down, restorations will be necessary to rebuild tooth structure.

Diseased and Damaged Teeth

Since jaw misalignment contributes to tooth wear and tooth wear can permanently damage teeth, patients with misaligned jaws are at a higher risk for developing damaged and diseased teeth. Damaged teeth can easily develop cavities because tooth enamel is worn down – leaving softer tooth structure exposed to cavity-causing bacteria. Diseased and damaged teeth can be repaired with fillings, onlays, and dental crowns. Sometimes, oral surgery is necessary to remove a tooth that cannot be saved.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our team at Commonwealth Oral & Facial Surgery today.

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