Facial harmony is when your jaw’s relative position works with your facial shape. This conformity is crucial for daily life functions, enabling you to eat, speak, breathe and swallow comfortably.
When Braces Alone are Not Enough
Facial harmony is necessary for your jaws to adequately support your teeth, allowing them to work seamlessly with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and facial muscles. The TMJ connects your lower jaw (mandible) to your upper jaw (maxilla) and skull, allowing you to open and close your mouth.
Sometimes, braces alone are not enough to improve how the mandible and maxilla fit together. The braces may enhance your smile, but if a skeletal deficiency is also present, orthognathic surgery (also called surgical orthodontics or jaw surgery) is required to fix your bite.
Signs Corrective Jaw Surgery is Necessary
Orthognathic surgery corrects misaligned jaws, alleviating functional dental issues and improving facial deformities. It helps your jaws’ performance (chewing, speaking and breathing) and rectifies aesthetic concerns.
Not sure if you need jaw surgery? All of the following afflictions are signs that you should see our expert team at Broad Street Braces to discuss treatment:
- You suffer from chronic headaches or jaw pain. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) causes soreness in the facial muscles and TMJ. Corrective jaw surgery can fix TMD.
- You hear noises coming from the TMJ – a symptom of TMD.
- You are experiencing trouble chewing, biting or swallowing. Misaligned jaws make eating difficult, especially foods that require cutting by the front teeth.
- You notice uneven wear of the teeth.
- You have excessive smile lines (a “gummy” smile).
- You are experiencing problems with breathing and sleeping, such as chronic mouth breathing, snoring and sleep apnea. These problems happen because misaligned jaws can obstruct breathing passageways. Unfortunately, regular mouth breathing results in dry or inflamed gums; snoring and sleep apnea poor sleep quality.
- When you close your jaws, you have a gap between your bottom and top teeth (an overbite), which may be affecting how you speak.
- Your teeth are offset toward one side more than the other (a crossbite).
- You have an unbalanced facial appearance: This could be due to a protruding jaw, a small recessive chin, nasal deviation or chin deviation. It could also be due to facial asymmetry (a size discrepancy between jaws), maxillary excess/prognathia (an overbite) or mandibular deficiency/retrognathia (an underbite).
- You cannot seal your lips over your teeth without straining your chin muscles.
- You have congenital disabilities or facial injuries, such as a jaw fracture from an accident.
Orthognathic surgery can correct any of these jaw abnormalities.
Scheduling a Consultation to Inquire About Jaw Surgery
Orthognathic surgery is necessary when orthodontics alone cannot fix the skeletal disharmonies. Dr. Neil will work with a maxillofacial surgeon to coordinate a treatment plan suited to your needs and carry out the procedure. Contact Broad Street Braces in Philadelphia, PA today to schedule a consultation.