Jaw Misalignment

So, I used to have a perfectly aligned jaw until my wisdom teeth came in at the age of 20. I also clench in my sleep and sometimes grind. I wear a protective guard. None of this happened until my wisdom came. However, my jaw is now slightly misaligned. My teeth are perfectly straight. Do I need braces or could this be just a tight muscle problem that can be fixed without them? I am 25 and I would like to do anything but wear braces.

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Answer: Jaw misalignment

By Sarah h
Dental Professional

Without a picture it is hard to understand how your jaw is misaligned.  It could be your bite as a result of the clenching and/or grinding or it may be skeletal.  Many times, in order to correct the issue, some type of orthodontics or appliance is necessary.  If your jaw feels tight (area close to your ear) you can use warm moist compresses and an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory to reduce the inflammation.  If this does not correct the problem, a visit to your dentist may be in order. Be sure to bring your current guard in order for the dentist to evaluate if it is fitting properly.  Your dentist will be able to direct you to the specialist if necessary.  

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