The temporomandibular joints, or TMJs. It’s a big name for tiny joints that cause significant pain. These ball and socket joints hinge your lower jaw to your skull and work to open and close your jaw when you talk, eat, yawn, breathe or drink something. These joints allow the jaw to move back and forth, up and down, and side to side. But, when these tiny joints wear out or are affected by misalignment, pain or inflammation, stiffness and changes in range of motion can occur.
What Causes Misaligned Jaw?
Ideally, your teeth should align properly, without too much pressure or stress on the TMJs. But this is not always the case. In many cases, bite malocclusion such as crossbites, overbites and underbites can cause strain on the TMJs and pain in the jaw.
Symptoms of a misaligned bite include:
- Stiffness in the jaw that makes chewing, talking and yawning difficult
- Pain when using the jaw
- Mouth breathing even when your nose is clear
- Facial pain that makes sleeping uncomfortable or impossible
- Unexplained ear pain
- Pressure in the face
- Headaches and migraines
- Changes in your bite that can happen suddenly or over time
- Pain in the face after eating or talking
Treatments for a Misaligned Jaw and Bite
If your jaw is misaligned, you will need treatment to either prevent damage or get you out of pain caused by stress on the jaw joints. Another reason to get treatment is to stop the wear and tear on the joints, and prevent a more invasive procedure — like surgery.
Getting treatment now means getting out of pain or preventing pain and ensuring you’re healthy for years to come.
If you’re experiencing the symptoms we mentioned, it’s time to talk to a professional about treating your unbalanced bite or misaligned jaw.
Dr. Ron Konig is well versed in treating jaw and bite problems. Give him a call today at 713-668-2289 to schedule a consultation or for more information.