A misaligned bite means that your upper and lower teeth are not aligned to connect in the right way. Being “off” just a little can add up over a lifetime to premature wear and tear on the teeth resulting in premature teeth problems as we age.
Jaw misalignment can be a minor issue or a major one. Whether you need treatment depends upon your symptoms, you history of TMJ problems, and what seem to trigger the pain or discomfort.
Invasive treatments are not necessarily needed if you don’t have pain or dental problems as a result of the jaw misalignment. But some people find that they need help realigning the jaw because it’s causing pain or unnecessary wear and tear on their teeth. Some ways to help realign the jaw include:
- Muscle relaxation, behavioral therapy, and stress management to bring the muscles of the jaw back to health and alignment on their own
- A customized bite appliance that gently helps place the TMJ muscles in their proper position
- Braces or palate expanders to reposition teeth and expand the palate when needed
- In rare and severe cases, jaw surgery, which should only be considered when all other options have been exhausted