An underdeveloped jaw, also known as a “faulty jaw”, is a congenital disorder in which the jaw doesn’t form normally.
In some cases, this condition is asymptomatic, and in other cases, it can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort.
Since the jaw isn’t positioned properly, it can lead to trouble speaking and chewing, as well as TMJ pain.
In this article, we’ll talk about the side effects of an underdeveloped jaw, as well as what you can do about it.
What Kinds of Health Problems Can Arise From an Underdeveloped Jaw?
There are many problems associated with an underdeveloped jaw, including:
- Speech Problems
- Chewing Problems
- TMJ Pain
- Sleep Apnea
If the jaw isn’t situated properly, it can lead to something called obstructive sleep apnea.
This is when there’s not enough oxygen getting to the body while speeding.
The “obstruction” in the name stands for the fact that something is blocking the airway.
Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to a premature death, so it’s recommended that you take care of your misaligned jaw as soon as possible.
Brief Anatomy of Facial Skeleton
Let’s take a few moments to discuss facial skeleton anatomy. The primary function of the facial skeleton is to support and protect the brain.
It also supports/protects vital tissues and organs like the eyes, mouth, nose, and ears.
The main bones of the face are the nasal bones, zygomatic bones, maxilla, frontal bone, and mandible.
In people with an underdeveloped jaw, it’s the mandible that typically has a problem.
For example, the mandible could be partially formed, or it could be fully formed but simply misaligned.
An Underdeveloped Jaw Can Lead to Crooked Teeth
A common problem that patients with underdeveloped jaws experience is crooked teeth.
When the mandible and maxilla aren’t aligned correctly, it can lead a person to needing braces.
In some cases, the misalignment is so extreme that even braces won’t help- only surgery can fix it.
Now, just because you have braces, this doesn’t mean that you have an underdeveloped jaw.
You might, but the only way to know for sure is to ask your dentist.
Can Surgery Correct a Misaligned Jaw?
Yes, surgery can correct a misaligned jaw in most cases.
Since each case is different, it’s recommended that you consult an oral/facial surgeon.
They’ll be able to give you more details about your treatment options.
After your underdeveloped jaw has been corrected, it should alleviate a lot of the symptoms you’ve been experiencing.
Also, make sure that you speak with your insurance company to see if they cover this type of surgery.