The prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities begin with functional orthodontics, which focuses on:
- Bringing the teeth and jaws into proper alignment
- Reducing your pain
- Stabilizing your TMJ
- Clearing the airway of obstructions that can lead to sleep apnea
Functional orthodontics are designed to help the body function without pain or inconvenience, and often includes treating malocclusions — misaligned teeth or bite — which are typically inherited, meaning they will probably not be resolved on their own.
Orthodontics for TMD and Malocclusions
A poor bite may be caused by teeth that have too much room (or too little) in the jaw, whereas misaligned teeth may be caused by poor oral habits and early tooth loss, which may cause teeth to shift around in the mouth.
Most malocclusions are mild, but they can make it difficult for you to properly care for your teeth. If your child is showing symptoms of a more serious misalignment, your local dental professional can help evaluate whether more serious intervention will be necessary.
Some symptoms you may want to remain on the lookout for include the following:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Tongue-tied or difficult speech
- Crowded or crooked-looking teeth
- Trouble chewing food because of teeth pain
- Consistent facial or jaw pain
- Misaligned permanent tooth growth
- Consistent damage to soft tissues of the mouth from protruding teeth