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Misaligned Jaw Malocclusion and What to Do About It

Jaw PainDo your teeth and jaw hurt frequently with no clear cause? Do you get headaches and feel pain in your neck? If you’re searching your brain trying to figure out what you did, you might want to consider visiting your dentist to see if something is wrong with the placement of your teeth. Your teeth should be comfortably lined up and your jaw should not be under strain. Consequently, if your teeth are not aligned properly, it could be the answer to the mysterious headaches and pains.

Improperly aligned teeth are called malocclusions. The most common causes are a severe over or under bite, an injury to the jaw, abnormally shaped teeth, and/or improperly completed dental work. Some of these can be detected early on in children, particularly when it comes to the type of bite and the shape of adult teeth as they grow in. Others are products of unforeseen accidents or mistakes, and they can be fixed if treated quickly.

If you are experiencing pain in your jaw, neck, face, head, and mouth, or any combination of these, schedule an appointment with your dentist.  Ask the dentist to check for malocclusion, especially if an injury has occurred (like in a car accident or a jaw injury) or if you have recently had dental work done. A blow to the jaw or neck can affect your mouth’s alignment, and a dentist will make sure that the muscles are cared for and moved back into place. Continuous pain after dental treatment should also be checked quickly, because an ill-fitting crown or filling can upset tooth alignment and contribute to pain. Fixing the problems will restore alignment and alleviate symptoms, though it may take some time for the adjustment to take hold. Use low doses of Ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory medication to ease the discomfort until it goes away.

Correcting malocclusion is essential for both dental health and overall well-being. Whether catching the problem early in children and teens that show signs of misalignment or treating problems that arise later in life, proper alignment will rid you of many unpleasant side effects. Your teeth will stay healthy and strong, with minimal pressure and wear from teeth that do not match evenly. If you do have a bit of an overbite, don’t worry too much—a slight overbite is common and usually needs little to no treatment. However, if you begin to feel pain and can’t figure out why, get yourself checked out. Catching a problem early will keep treatments as minimal as possible and end discomfort before it becomes debilitating.

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