Improving Your Daily Life by Resolving Misalignment
When the axles on your car are misaligned, it can cause your tires to wear down more quickly or unevenly and can lead to issues with the way your car drives. Your jaw works much the same way! Your temporomandibular joints may seem like they’re isolated, but when they’re misaligned, it’s not just the appearance of your teeth that can suffer. Jaw misalignment can actually have many wide-ranging effects, even potentially impacting elements of your breathing. This means that resolving misaligned teeth can have many positive impacts on your daily life, including resolving or improving symptoms you had no idea were related. To help you prepare for your consultation, we’ve explained comprehensive treatments and 5 of the misalignment symptoms they can resolve.
Addressing Malocclusion with Comprehensive Treatments
Many people gain an even bite and straight teeth through orthodontic treatments, but some people have additional issues that contribute to their malocclusion. Examining every angle of your malocclusion and treating it comprehensively is a vital part of ensuring that your teeth and bite remain straight and even in the long run. As a result, your dentist will address every aspect of your misaligned bite to ensure that your treatment has lasting positive effects on your daily life.
Orofacial myofunctional therapy is one of the treatments that dentists often use to provide the patients who need it with a full solution to their misalignment. This treatment uses simple exercises to strengthen the tongue, face, and lip muscles that are used to chew, swallow, and position your tongue in your mouth. The exercises are easy, but they can make all the difference in your treatment. If someone who needs myofunctional therapy doesn’t receive it, their treatment is missing a key component — and the results may not last. Thankfully, finding a dentist who looks for this and who provides comprehensive treatment to those who need it ensures that the symptoms caused by misalignment are gone for good.
Poor Oral Posture
Ideally, your mouth automatically assumes a certain posture when it’s relaxed: lips closed and tongue resting against the hard palate at the roof of your mouth. It’s automatic for many people, but malocclusion can make it difficult or uncomfortable. This can lead to an incorrect oral posture where your mouth remains open and your tongue presses against your teeth when it’s relaxed. It may also cause you to swallow by thrusting your tongue against or between your teeth instead of against the roof of your mouth.
These issues might sound minor, but the constant pressure against your teeth can shift them and make them crooked over time. They can even continue shifting your teeth after you’ve undergone orthodontic treatment. This isn’t the case for everyone with a misaligned bite, but it’s a good example of why comprehensive treatment using orthodontics and myofunctional therapy should always be considered. When it’s necessary, it can make all the difference in making sure that your teeth stay straight in the long-term.
The position of your jaw impacts more than just your jaw itself — it also impacts your airway. If you have a misaligned jaw, it can cause your airway to be narrower than it should be, causing or worsening obstructive sleep apnea symptoms. The good news is that straightening your teeth and jaws through orthodontic treatment can help you gain an ideal jaw position where your airway is kept more open when you sleep, reducing or even eliminating your sleep apnea symptoms. Even if you don’t have sleep apnea, misaligned jaws can still lead to snoring, so you might find that you — and your partner — sleep better once your jaw is aligned properly!
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Temporomandibular joint disorder has a host of potential causes, but malocclusions and weak muscles in your face and jaw are both relatively common ones. This is because malocclusions can strain the joints of your jaw, causing pain that can become severe enough to interfere with your ability to eat or speak comfortably. This strain, as well as weak muscles in your face and jaw, can each cause nearby muscles to need to pull double-duty, attempting to do parts of the job that your jaw and its surrounding muscles should be carrying out.
This can cause a ripple effect, leading to tight and sore muscles in your face, your neck, your shoulders, and even your back. Tight muscles in your head and neck can lead to frequent headaches while spreading inflammation from the joints of your jaw can cause earaches, temporary hearing loss, and more. Thankfully, resolving the issues with your jaw and weak facial muscles using a mixture of orthodontics and myofunctional therapy resolves this range of issues for many people, helping you feel so much better every day!
We often think of the digestive process as taking place only in our stomachs, but it actually starts in our mouths when we chew our food! A jaw that is painful or severely uneven can impact your ability to chew your food as well as you should. This can lead to poor digestion, with symptoms like acid reflux and stomach aches. Similarly, improper swallowing can cause you to regularly swallow air, which can also lead to stomach aches. Thankfully, resolving the root causes of these issues allows you to chew or swallow normally, relieving these symptoms. You can say goodbye to frequent stomach aches and acid reflux — who would have thought your jaw’s alignment could make such a huge difference?
Unevenly Worn Teeth
Malocclusions impact the way your teeth fit together, which also means they can impact wear and tear on your teeth over time. This doesn’t just happen as a result of the way you eat, though, as people with uneven bites are also more likely to clench or grind their teeth. It’s not always a conscious habit, as it’s common for people to do it in their sleep. Over time, this can cause some of your teeth to wear down more, further impacting your bite and your ability to chew as well as the health of the teeth themselves. This isn’t inevitable, though! You can prevent this kind of wear and tear on your teeth by straightening your bite and, if necessary, completing myofunctional therapy to strengthen the muscles in your face to ensure that your bite stays even long-term.
Our bodies are meant to work together, so they’re incredibly interconnected. That means that misaligned bites can cause a range of symptoms, some of them surprising — but resolving them can relieve those same symptoms and help you feel better every day! Looking for a dentist in Lakeway, TX? Dr. Tomasik is the best dentist in Bee Cave to evaluate and treat your misalignment comprehensively. If you’d like to learn more about what your treatment would involve and how comprehensive treatment may benefit you, feel free to schedule a consultation at any time!