TMJ Face Distortion; the Ugly Side of a Disorder

close up of an old man holding his jaw with his hands

You can feel your TMJ or temporomandibular joints on both sides of your lower jawbone in front of your ears. A TMJ disorder occurs when there is a problem in this joint. If left untreated, a TMJ disorder will only worsen with time. In severe cases, it can lead to face distortion and asymmetry. In this article, we will explain everything about TMJ face distortion and how to treat it.

What Are the Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder?

The symptoms of a TMJ disorder will lead to gradual face distortion if not treated as soon as possible. The most important of these symptoms include:

A Clicking or Popping Jawbone

If you experience clicking or popping in your jawbone when you open your mouth, you need to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible before it causes any damage to your face.

Your Jaw Getting Locked

If your jawbone gets locked so badly that you can’t open your mouth and have to make it click to return to its place, you need to check with your dentist for a possible TMJ disorder.

Teeth Misalignment

Teeth misalignment can cause jaw pain or bite problems and make chewing hard. It can lead to TMJ face distortion as it pushes a certain part of your jawbone more than the other parts.

Other Symptoms

Other symptoms involved with TMJ face distortion include headache, ear pain, vertigo, dizziness, ringing in your ears, hearing problems, or tingling in your face or hands.

TMJ Face Distortion; the Ugly Side of a Disorder

What Are TMJ Face Distortion Symptoms?

There are also symptoms indicating that your TMJ disorder is possibly distorting your face. We advise you to take these symptoms seriously and begin the treatment before they worsen.

Off-Balance Jaw

TMJ makes your lower jawbone look off-balanced. “How?” you might ask. Well, a TMJ disorder will cause you to prefer to chew with one side of your mouth more than the other side. The more you chew with that favorite side, the more your teeth wear out. The worn teeth will cause your jaw to become imbalanced and uneven when you close your mouth.

Uneven Face Height

Bone irregularity happens when your jawbone gets shorter on one side than the other. On top of this, other factors like worn condyle or short ramus cause uneven face. Of course, we are not sure whether short ramus causes TMJ disorder or occurs as the result of this disorder.

Overdeveloped Muscles

People with TMJ disorder might experience overworked muscles that appear to be bulging out. Again, it is because there is an imbalance between your jaw joints, leaving your muscles to compensate for it. This imbalance will ultimately wear down your muscles and make your face asymmetrical.

Tilted Head and Jaw

A TMJ disorder wears or displaces the jaw joint disk, making your jaw look tilted. The problem can even worsen to the degree that it would cause imbalance in your neck, resulting in a head tilt. Don’t forget that these tilts might be very subtle, and you might not notice them until you pay close attention.

TMJ Face Distortion; the Ugly Side of a Disorder

How to Treat TMJ Face Distortion

If you are struggling with the symptoms we have discussed so far, you should know that there are several treatments for TMJ facial asymmetry. Here are the most popular ones:

Temporary Orthotics

Your dentist might prescribe temporary orthotics for you while they correct your teeth, if teeth misalignment is the cause of the problem.

TMJ Orthognathic Surgery

In case of severe jaw misalignment, TMJ orthognathic surgery or orthognathic jaw surgery can be very effective. This type of facial asymmetry surgery operates on treating muscle overgrowth in your jaws.

Total Condylectomy

Another type of facial asymmetry surgery is total condylectomy, in which an implant completely replaces the condyle in your jaw.

Genioplasty Surgery

If the chin is tilted and causes TMJ facial asymmetry, genioplasty surgery can help. In this surgery, a chin implant is applied by a plastic surgeon to restore symmetry to your face.

Non-Surgical Practices for Face Symmetry

There are also non-surgical practices to provide face symmetry for people who face TMJ face distortion, the most common of which being massage therapy. It might not be as effective or fast as the treatments mentioned before. Still, if you are familiar with the body’s anatomy and can find your masseter muscle and massage it, you can see results after some time.

Are You Ready to Start Your Treatment?

In this article, we talked about how real and serious TMJ face distortion is and how much you should care about treating your TMJ disorder before it gets worse. We also discussed your surgical options, such as orthognathic jaw surgery. If you want to take action, our recommendation is Aria Dental Care in Orange County, California. Contact us for a consultation session, so our team of experienced specialists can walk you through the treatment plan and end your TMJ disorder struggles.

contact Aria Dental Care on (949) 364-9600

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