As we age, our faces reflect the passing years in many different ways, such as thinning drier skin, loss of muscle tone, more lines and wrinkles, sagging jowls, longer ears, and greying retreating hair. Our teeth start to move forward and the chances of losing our teeth due to gum disease increase, which can age the face further as it causes sunken cheeks.
How Does Your Jaw Affect Your Appearance?
What many people don’t realize is that our jaw position plays a key role in facial aging, as it determines how the upper and lower sets of teeth sit together. A misaligned jaw affects the overall shape and symmetry of the face and side profile.
A normal ‘bite’ means that the upper and lower teeth sit neatly together, with neither majorly overlapping the other and the teeth being neatly aligned both vertically and horizontally. The upper teeth should slightly overlap the lower teeth.
An ‘overbite’ occurs when the upper teeth protrude substantially over the lower teeth, Overbites are very common and can be caused by genetics, injuries or using a pacifier or thumb sucking as a child (or even habits in adulthood such as biting pen lids). An overbite creates a weak receding chin, sunken cheeks, and an awkward smile; the face often appears round and older than it should.
An underbite (the lower teeth protruding substantially over the upper teeth) creates a prominent chin and lower jaw—all of these unnatural bites having an aging effect on our appearance.
Sometimes the teeth don’t meet properly at the front (an ‘open bite’), or odd teeth tilt outwards towards the cheek (a ‘crossbite’).
All of these conditions cause abnormal levels of stress on the jaw. Misaligned jaw problems worsen over time, resulting in accelerated maturing of the appearance. An optimally positioned jaw makes sure that the upper and lower teeth meet just as they should, creating a youthful visage.
Can My Jaw Alignment Be Improved?
Your jaw’s position can be improved for sure – this is a much better option than cosmetic dentistry, which merely camouflages the problem rather than fixing the root cause.
Although jaw surgery can effectively correct the alignment of the lower jaw, this invasive procedure requires considerable recovery time (anything from 1–12 months). It is associated with several risks such as nerve injury resulting in numbness, excessive blood loss, jaw fracture, and the potential need for root canal treatment on teeth. Some people may need multiple jaw surgeries to achieve the desired result.
A quicker non-surgical treatment option for jaw alignment is Face Lift Dentistry, which uses patented JawTrac® technology to harmonize the jaw’s position. Technology is used to visualize the end results before the procedure is undertaken, and results are achieved very quickly (within weeks). This non-surgical treatment doesn’t involve any drilling or have any risky side effects; it just needs a video and some x-rays and photos of your face.
Health Benefits of Improved Jaw Alignment
Jaw misalignment can affect your ability to bite, chew, or swallow properly, affecting digestion and nutrition, and can also cause chronic mouth breathing or even breathing difficulties. A suboptimal jaw position can also cause speech impediments such as lisping. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder [https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/health-info/tmj] is another common condition caused by poor jaw alignment, which often results in clicking noises or pain.
As well as providing a more youthful appearance, jaw correction can have several overall health benefits such as reduced muscle tension in the jaw, neck, shoulders, and back, as well as fewer headaches. Better sleep quality is another health benefit you may not realize can be the result of jaw realignment, as the airways become restored to an optimal volume, meaning better oxygen intake. We all know how much our energy, alertness, tolerance, and concentration are all significantly improved after a good night’s sleep!
There are also advantages for your oral health as there is less chance of you grinding your teeth. At the same time, asleep which can damage the protective enamel layer of the teeth, leading to sensitivity, cracked or chipped teeth, and even decay. Mouth breathing also has a detrimental impact on your dental health as it removes the protective saliva from your teeth, increasing the risk of gum disease, and causes bad breath.
Furthermore, people with an optimally positioned jaw have a more youthful appearance and are generally more confident and happier in themselves, leading to a more fulfilling and successful life.
How Do I Know if My Jaw Needs Correcting?
There are several physical signs you need anti-aging dentistry to correct your jaw, such as only your lower teeth showing when you talk, a small weak chin, your smile looking too ‘gummy’ or having a misaligned bite.
You may think you need long-term braces or veneers to correct or disguise minor dental imperfections that bother you. Still, a realigned jaw could, in fact, be a better and faster option, providing lifelong adjustments to improve facial aesthetics as well as your overall and dental health.
If you experience a lot of headaches or migraines where a doctor has ruled out medical causes, you wake up feeling tired and have jaw pain; you might have TMJ disorder, which will benefit from jaw realignment.
You may simply feel that you look older than you should do. If you think you’re a potential candidate for JawTrac® treatment, book a consultation today!