How To Achieve Proper Alignment of the Teeth and Jaw Joints

A woman with aching jaws
  • Visiting an orthodontist is essential when undergoing any jaw misalignment treatment.
  • Practicing good posture and avoiding excessive gum chewing, nail biting, and thumb sucking can help prevent or correct jaw misalignment.
  • Being mindful while grinding teeth eliminates excessive pressure that causes long-term imbalances in the joint and muscles around your jaw.
  • Doing physical therapy exercises to exercise jaw muscles properly is essential to correcting jaw misalignment.

Having an improperly aligned jaw can cause physical and emotional discomfort, as well as affect your appearance. Fortunately, correcting jaw misalignment is possible with the help of a dentist or orthodontist. Different treatments may be recommended to bring your jaw back into proper alignment, depending on the severity of your misalignment.

These treatments can range from simple lifestyle changes to more complex procedures such as braces or surgery. In any case, it’s essential to understand all the options available so you can make an informed decision about which treatment best suits your needs and lifestyle.

Visit an orthodontist

Having a dental checkup

Visiting an orthodontist for jaw alignment treatments is essential to ensure proper treatment of your misaligned jaw. Whether braces, palatal expanders, or corrective surgery, orthodontists are trained professionals and should always be consulted for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Having a proper jaw alignment can significantly improve quality of life, from improving the esthetics of one’s smile to easing day-to-day activities like speech and chewing. Additionally, getting a tooth implant may be necessary to ensure proper jaw alignment and stability.

Change your lifestyle

Here are some lifestyle changes

Practice good posture

Practicing good posture is an essential step in correcting jaw misalignment. The first step is to align your ears directly over the shoulders, which should be pulled back slightly with your chin tucked in. Then, ensure the neck and waist are in one straight line by imagining a plumb bob hanging from the center of your ear.

Postural alignment is about training the body to maintain a long-term static and anatomically correct position rather than always having to correct and re-correct after each unintentional displacement. This helps to ensure that pressure or tension isn’t placed unevenly on joints like the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which can cause problems like facial pain, headaches, or unequal bite forces due to improper closing or opening of the jaw.

Avoid excessive gum chewing and nail biting.

Anxious woman biting her nails

Prolonged and frequent gum chewing or nail biting can contribute to jaw misalignment. To correct this, individuals should limit their gum chewing to no more than five minutes per chew and aim to avoid it where possible.

Additionally, cutting nails regularly, limiting thumb sucking, and avoiding other bad habits, such as having the side teeth clenched together, can help prevent jaw misalignment. This is because they all involve the same muscles used in the improper function of the jaw and can cause damage if done too frequently or for too long.

Correcting jaw misalignment is important since uneven bites or facial asymmetry can cause issues, such as grinding teeth or difficulty with speech or chewing. It is also advisable to have regular check-ups at a dental office to maintain good oral health.

Be mindful when grinding your teeth.

Grinding your teeth improperly can lead to jaw misalignment, which may seriously impact your oral health. It is essential to be mindful when grinding to prevent costly and painful orthodontic treatments like wire braces or Invisalign.

Mindful grinding helps by eliminating excessive pressure that could cause long-term imbalances in the joint and muscles around your jaw. Moreover, it increases awareness and control of the movements of your lower jaw, which further helps your jaws achieve their natural alignment. With consistent practice, you will begin to recognize how misalignments happen and how you can work towards correcting that.

Exercise the jaw muscles with physical therapy exercises.

Doing physical therapy exercises to exercise jaw muscles properly is essential to correcting jaw misalignment. A consultation with a physical therapist can help diagnose any jaw misalignment and determine the best course of action. Through customized physical therapy exercises, patients can strengthen the jaw muscles that are not functioning correctly.

This helps tissues that are overstretched and tight to either gain or reduce tension as needed, helping to resolve imbalances in the joint and allowing for proper alignment of the lower jaw with the facial bones. Regular and consistent participation in these tailored exercises can eventually improve form and function and reduce pain associated with misaligned jaws.

Use a night guard

Using a night guard to prevent tooth grinding is critical in correcting jaw misalignment. When done correctly, the night guard acts as an artificial spacer between the upper and lower teeth, protecting them from excessive force during sleep.

This limits or eliminates the involuntary grinding and clenching that can occur if the jaw is not correctly aligned. Using a night guard can put less stress on your jaw joints, allowing proper healing. It also prevents tooth wear, which can lead to further issues like cavities, gum diseases, and even tooth loss.

These are a few of the treatments available to correct jaw misalignment. It’s important to remember that everyone is different and will require a unique approach based on individual needs and lifestyles.

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