woman with big black curly hair rubs her jaw, due to painFor many people, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD) is linked to a diverse and sometimes obscure combination of symptoms. It can be hard to link the symptoms you’re experiencing to your jaw joint, especially if your doctor is attributing your headache and other symptoms to different causes. 

However, other times the presence of TMJ is as plain as the appearance of your face. That’s because in many cases, TMJ can be linked to an uneven or imbalanced jaw. Fortunately, it’s usually possible to treat jaw asymmetry along with TMJ, giving you a jaw that’s functionally and aesthetically balanced. In some cases, Controlled Arch braces are the key to achieving an attractive appearance and healthy jaw function

Diverse Links between Asymmetry and TMJ

There are many ways that TMJ can contribute to an asymmetrical jaw. One of the most common causes of jaw asymmetry is uneven wear on your teeth. If you have a tendency to chew on one side much more than the other, you can wear your teeth down on that side significantly faster, which will cause that side of the jaw to shrink, leading to imbalance. 

In addition to tooth wear, chewing too much on one side can lead your jaw muscles to develop more on that side. This can make your cheek seem to bulge out more on one side than the other. 

Other times, the problem is related to joint or bone issues. In some cases, a displaced temporomandibular joint can cause one side of your jaw to be taller than the other. And if the cushioning disc has been destroyed on one side, that side will be shorter. And beyond the cushioning disc, continued use can wear down the bone in the joint, leading to even more shrinking on that side. 

In some cases, the bone issue might precede TMJ, as it could be related to poor development of the upper or lower jaw, which can then cause the jaw to sit unevenly. 

Other times, it’s the way you hold your head that makes your jaw look imbalanced. This could be related to TMJ because an imbalance in jaw muscles can lead to your neck trying to compensate by holding the head at a tilt.

TMJ Treatment Can Help in Many Cases

If you have TMJ and facial asymmetry, we can often help with neuromuscular dentistry. By restoring balance to your teeth and relaxing the jaw muscles, we can give you back the balanced function and appearance of your jaw. 

In some cases, symptom relief can occur immediately, and your appearance can be restored within a matter of weeks. Other times, results may take longer.

Controlled Arch Braces Can Address Bone Development

In the past, we often didn’t have tools to deal with uneven bone development without surgery. And surgery for this type of problem was invasive, painful, slow, and expensive. 

Now, though, thanks to Controlled Arch orthodontics, we can change the shape of your jaw without surgery. 

This can not only eliminate TMJ symptoms, it can give you a more attractive and balanced facial appearance.

Concerned about Facial Asymmetry in Kanata?

You don’t have to live with an asymmetrical facial appearance. Whether the problem is teeth, muscles, joints, or bones, we can usually address it without the need for surgery. 

To learn how we can help you, please call 613.271.7091 today for an appointment with neuromuscular dentist Dr. Andrea Stevens, serving the entire Ottawa area from Kanata.