TMJ is caused by an imbalance in the bite system. The teeth, joints, and muscles no longer work together in harmony. The imbalance can cause many symptoms, including jaw pain, headaches, tooth damage, and even ear symptoms like ear pain, vertigo, dizziness, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
Over time, the imbalanced bite can lead to an imbalanced facial appearance: your smile might be crooked, and your face can look asymmetrical. This can make people feel very uncomfortable with their appearance. Symmetry is one of the essential elements of beauty, and having an imbalanced, asymmetrical face can make you self-conscious.
TMJ treatment can relieve the symptoms of this disorder. Most symptoms can be relieved immediately or over several weeks. Eventually, asymmetry will resolve, too. Some of it can be corrected immediately, but complete symmetry may take time to return.
What Causes Asymmetry in TMJ
When people develop facial asymmetry related to TMJ, there are usually two causes. One cause is related to the teeth. As TMJ can cause forces on one side of the jaw to be much higher than the other, either during chewing or during grinding episodes (bruxism), the teeth can be badly worn down on one side of the mouth. This leads to a lopsided position of the jaw. The smile can look very crooked, and the jaw may have a definite slant to it when closed.
The imbalance doesn’t stop at the jaw, though. When the jaw is tilted like this, it can cause the body to try to balance itself by adjusting the position of other parts of the body, including the spine, shoulders, and hips.
Facial asymmetry can also be caused by the jaw muscles. When the jaw muscles are working much harder on one side than the other, they can grow larger, just like muscles elsewhere in the body. This can cause one side of the face to look noticeably more muscular and bulged than the other.
TMJ Treatment Can Resolve Asymmetry
Fortunately, TMJ treatment can get rid of asymmetry just as it relieves other symptoms related to the condition.
When we rebalance your bite, we can build damaged teeth back up as part of a full mouth reconstruction. This restores your jaw to its natural, balanced position. Your smile will be straight and your jaw will be, too. You’ll notice that this can encourage straightness in your posture, though that may not be immediate.
In addition, balancing the forces in your bite will counter the overdevelopment of your jaw muscles. This may also take time, but the large jaw muscle will reduce and you’ll enjoy improved facial symmetry that can help you look more attractive.
Let Us Treat Your TMJ and Restore Your Appearance
If you have TMJ and you are unhappy with the impact that it’s had on your appearance, we can help. Please call (912) 234-8282 today for an appointment with a Savannah, GA TMJ dentist at The Durham Office.