It isn’t uncommon to experience jaw pain every now and again, but depending on the root cause, frequency, and severity of the jaw pain, anti-inflammatory medications may not cut it. This can lead to the need for corrective jaw surgery.
Millions of people suffer from TMD (temporomandibular disorders), and there are so many more who fail to seek the treatment they need. One reason for this is that it is expected for jaw pain to self-correct. When left untreated, you may experience pain in the back, shoulders, and neck. Headaches may also occur. There is also a risk of anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
So, what we’re saying is that a jaw disorder can have a real negative impact on your life. To ensure this doesn’t happen, it is a good idea to become familiar with the signs of jaw problems that may require corrective surgery.
What Is Corrective Jaw Surgery?
Also referred to as orthognathic surgery, corrective jaw surgery consists of moving the upper or lower (sometimes both) jaw bones in an effort to correct both minor and major skeletal problems, as well as dental irregularities.
The jaw is very intricate, and because of this, this type of surgery is quite complex. The jaw goes up and down and side to side. When your jaws and teeth fail to line up properly, a number of issues can occur, including problems with speech, difficulty chewing, and even sleep apnea.
Generally, these types of disorders are related to genetics as well as the cleaning and grinding of the teeth.
When You May Need Corrective Jaw Surgery
There are numerous instances when corrective jaw surgery is needed, but let’s take a look at a few of the more common signs you may need to undergo surgery of the jaw. Of course, you’ll want to consult with your dentist or specialist before making any decisions.
When the upper and lower jaws are misaligned, it can make it extremely difficult to chew and bite. Whether from an underbite, overbite, or another dental issue, your teeth may not touch. As a result, you may feel discomfort or pain when chewing crunchy or tough foods.
Irregularities with your bite don’t only affect your chewing and biting abilities, but they can also result in issues with swallowing. This is a sign that an imbalance exists within the facial muscle groups. Over time, this imbalance impacts the development of the jaw as well as common mouth functions. In addition, you may find trouble pronouncing certain words.
Frequent Jaw Pain and Headaches
Many disorders of the jaw will result in pain and discomfort in the jaw and overall face. However, inflammation of joints and muscles may occur as well, in addition to frequent headaches.
It is common to believe that ear pain is caused by an ear infection. However, TMD is actually the most common cause of ear-related pain. This is because the muscles and ligaments around this jaw joint are connected to the ear, resulting in pain when the joint becomes worn or damaged. In some cases, your hearing ability may be affected, and it may result in a clogged-up feeling in the ear.
When a facial injury or trauma is sustained, it can lead to numerous health complications. If you suffer serious damage to your teeth or a broken jaw, corrective jaw surgery is often necessary to restore aesthetics and function.
There are various forms of birth defects that can lead to minor and significant jaw abnormalities. For example, the lower or upper jaw may not develop completely or too much. Some of the most common birth defects that can result in oral and jaw issues include cleft lip and cleft palate. Now, depending on the severity of the abnormality, orthodontics may be an ideal solution, although surgery is sometimes needed for more serious cases.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a very common disorder related to your breathing while asleep, and it is a sign that you have a misaligned jaw. With sleep apnea, your breathing is interrupted throughout the night, and as a result, you may experience dry mouth, daytime fatigue, mood changes, and headaches. Corrective jaw surgery can often target the root cause of this disorder and help you sleep better at night.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
If you have been experiencing issues with your jaw, don’t assume these problems will correct on their own. In many cases, professional help is necessary so that your overall quality of life isn’t negatively impacted. Don’t put off contacting our office to schedule a consultation so we can assess your situation, discuss potential treatment options, and help relieve you of your pain and discomfort.