A misaligned jaw treatment is necessary when the lower and upper teeth do not meet comfortably. The common signs are an overbite with protruding teeth and an underbite with the bottom teeth in front of the upper. The condition can interfere with speech, breathing, eating, sleeping and cause discomfort. This condition is referred to as a malocclusion and the treatment is dependent on the severity of the condition.
The standard treatment for a misaligned jaw and crowded or crooked teeth are braces. Cement brackets are fastened to the teeth and connected with wires. Over a period of roughly one to three years, the wires are tightened. This gradually moves the jaw and the teeth into alignment. Braces are also used to treat overbites when the jaw is too far forward causing protruding upper teeth.
If the misalignment is too excessive, headgear braces are an option. The upper jaw is moved back with retraction headgear and the lower jaw moves forward with protraction headgear. Both types of braces use external and internal wires. One or two straps are designed to fit over the neck and head. These braces are worn for the majority of every day.
An underbite is corrected with an upper jaw expander. This is applicable when the lower teeth are forward farther than the upper and the lower jaw protrudes. This device has a wire frame and is placed on the upper palate. The expander is widened a tiny bit each night with a specialized key.
The misaligned jaw treatment for milder conditions is cosmetic dentistry. The lower teeth are reshaped and veneers are used for the upper teeth. This does not fix the misalignment, but it becomes less noticeable. The lower teeth are then able to remain behind the uppers.
Although it can be challenging to navigate around orthodontic devices, using a fluoride toothpaste to brush twice each day in addition to flossing once daily helps ensure cavity free, healthy teeth at the conclusion of the treatment. Rinsing daily with an antibacterial mouthwash is also recommended to reduce plaque and bacteria. A misalignment can be serious but there are treatments to permanently correct the issue. This results in beautiful, straight teeth and an aligned jaw.
If you are interested in receiving a misaligned jaw treatment, please get in touch and make an appointment with Central Texas Orthodontics. At our location in Austin, TX, our caring and dedicated team of professionals will be pleased to explain your options in full and help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Contact us today to set up your consultation!