When is a malocclusion a case for jaw surgery?
Bad bites can cause not only aesthetic but also functional problems in the mouth and jaw area. But when is it necessary to see an oral surgeon and how can oral surgery help?
A bad bite, known medically as malocclusion, occurs when the upper and lower teeth do not fit together properly when the mouth is closed. This can lead to some problems, including tooth damage, temporomandibular joint problems, and difficulty eating or speaking.
Surgery as a solution for complex cases
The reasons for a bad bite are varied. They range from genetic factors to bad habits such as thumb sucking to premature tooth loss or injury. A bad bite is often successfully corrected with orthodontic measures such as braces and retainers.
However, if the misalignment is too complex or orthodontic treatment alone is insufficient, jaw surgery comes into play. Above all, this procedure is needed to stop the downward spiral of wear and tear and avoid the long-term consequences of the bad bite.
When should you consult an oral surgeon?
- If you have persistent pain or discomfort in your jaw joint.
- If you notice that you are putting uneven strain on your lower and upper jaw.
- If the malocclusion causes problems with speaking and you cannot form certain sounds.
- When the teeth are abnormally worn, they aren’t easy to chew.
- If you have trouble breathing while sleeping, that could be caused by a bad bite.
- If you feel uncomfortable due to the misalignment of your teeth or disharmonious facial profile, you have reduced self-esteem.
Oral surgeons – and orthodontists – will use modern diagnostic methods (e.g. imaging procedures) to determine the exact type of malocclusion, investigate the causes of your symptoms and develop an individual treatment plan based on the diagnosis.