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Facial Asymmetry


A crooked face may be a sign of a problem with your jaw

tmj-facial-asymmetryIf you have noticed that your face appears somewhat crooked and this is not what you are used to, it could be your jaw which is causing the asymmetry.

Look at your face in a mirror and through the middle of your face draw an imaginary line between your eyes, along your nose, between your front teeth, and finally through the centre point of your chin.
You will soon see if you have a crooked nose and if the central point of your chin is not on the midline.

If this is what you see it could be a problem with your temporomandibular joint or TMJ. Facial asymmetry is one of several different symptoms of TMJ disorder.

Why should facial asymmetry be a sign of a TMJ disorder?

The lower jaw consists of tendons and muscles which work co operatively in the opening and closing of the mouth. They also help to ensure the lower jaw is positioned in such a way so that the person can gain maximum performance from their teeth and surrounding muscles.

In a situation where the upper jaw has moved to one side, slopes too steeply, or is too low or high then it’s more difficult for the tendons and muscles to allow the teeth to become matched correctly when the mouth is chewing or biting. This means undue stress is put on these tendons and muscles when the teeth try to unite in an optimal position.

Strange as it may seem relief can often be obtained by a visit to the dentist, although you should rule out any other medical issue first with your GP.

How a neuromuscular dentist can get this problem fixed

page-images-facial-asymetryOnce you have been assured by your doctor that there is nothing medically wrong with you it is time to seek a diagnosis and specific treatment from your dentist.

The dentist will check for any misalignment in your TMJ. Through muscle relaxation techniques the dentist will then find the correct position for your TMJ and will design an orthotic device that will help you to maintain the correct alignment of your joint. The device is tailor made to gently move your jaw over a period of time so that any misalignment is corrected.

Sometimes the dentist may discover that you suffer from malocclusion. This is also known as bad bite and can mean your teeth do not come together properly, putting pressure on your TMJ. Modern dental techniques are designed to help improve teeth alignment and reduce the effect they have on the TMJ.

A crooked face can be replaced with a smiling face

Facial asymmetry and other symptoms of a TMJ disorder can be painful and socially embarrassing. The good news is that these symptoms do not need to be permanent. All it might take is to arrange a consultation with your dentist.

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