A recessive lower jaw and the resultant bad bite will cause muscle strain that will eventually lead to a musculoskeletal dysfunction of the head and neck known as a Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (the temporomandibular joints are the 2 joints just in front of the ears that connect the lower jaw to the skull). This dysfunction affects the entire musculoskeletal system, even in children and results in a wide variety of symptoms such as headaches, ear pain, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), neck pain and sinus problems (see figure below). In fact a survey has shown that 33% of adolescents coming in for routine orthodontic care already have beginning symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction (E.H. Williamson, DDS, “The Role of Craniomandibular Dysfunction in Orthodontic Diagnosis and Treatment,” Dental Clinics of North America, Vol. 27, No. 3, July, 1983).
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(Reprinted with permission from TM Data Resources)
What our Treatment can do for your child
A recessed lower jaw may be an indicator of improper orthopedic development. Following a comprehensive evaluation your child may be fitted with a customized functional appliance to widen the dental arches and control musculature while correctly positioning the lower jaw. This facilitates proper tongue posture, and expansion of the nasal turbinates. This will also encourage healthy nasal breathing instead of mouth breathing. If required the teeth can be repositioned with braces to maintain these orthopedic changes. This leads to optimized airway, healthy jaw joints and desirable facial development.