Properly aligned teeth make for a good smile and a healthy mouth, and orthodontists have a lot of tools, appliances, and other options to help make the top and bottom teeth match up. But while appliances like braces, palatal expanders, and retainers can do a lot of good for properly aligning teeth, there are some jaws that need more help than what these alignment correctors can accomplish. Several situations can call for surgery instead.
Chronic Joint Pain
If your jaw always feels sore or you always feel pain where the jaw meets the skull when you chew, that’s a strong indication that your teeth are misaligned. Misaligned teeth mean that you either can’t chew properly or you need to work harder to chew properly, and that’s what’s causing the joint pain. Surgery may be your best bet if your teeth have reached this point.
Sometimes an accident and not nature is to blame for why your teeth no longer lineup. Depending on how bad the injury is surgery may be necessary no matter what, but if not or if the jaw doesn’t heal properly you may want to visit a specialist in jaw and mouth surgery like an orthodontist.
Sleep apnea goes beyond regular snoring and makes it hard to breathe when you sleep because your airway closes up. There are a few solutions to sleep apnea like dental appliances that push the jaw forward and continuous positive air pressure devices, but a more permanent solution involves surgery. A surgeon can remove your tonsils and parts of the soft tissue in the back of your palate and throat, creating a wider and clearer passage in the process.
Something else to understand about surgery is the fact that it’s less needed when it comes to young children who are still developing and growing. That’s why orthodontists prefer to start fixing teeth as soon as possible: it’s both more effective and less expensive than the surgery adults might need to deal with the same problems.