An underdeveloped jaw could cause health issues—such as temporomandibular joint disorder or airway problems—while also affecting your appearance and the alignment of your teeth. An underdeveloped jaw may look like this: severe overbite, recessed chin, little to no jaw definition, or mouth breathing.

For many years, correcting these issues meant undergoing jaw surgery, often in combination with orthodontic treatment before and after surgery. This meant a long and painful process. Thanks to advances in dental science, jaw growth (or facial growth) orthodontics allow adults to achieve straighter teeth and correct jaw alignment without the need for surgery. Also referred to as Orthotropics®, this treatment method can correct underbites, overbites, and crossbites in young patients.

The Difference of Orthotropics®

This treatment focuses on three outcomes: nasal breathing, a proper lip seal, and optimum tongue posture. These components are vital to ensuring proper jaw growth and development. Not having just one of them can create disharmony in the craniofacial structure. Orthotropics® focuses on correcting these imbalances in growing children. This can be achieved by wearing a series of devices that work by guiding facial growth forward and encourage proper rest oral posture.

This method of Orthotropics® helps the jaws develop to its full genetic potential. When one of the “big three”—the way you breathe, lip seal, or rest oral posture—becomes interrupted, it can lead to an underdeveloped upper or lower jaw, which affects facial symmetry, affecting your looks. This can lead to an underbite, overbite, or crossbite forming. Through early orthodontic intervention, the top jaw can be developed to the proper size and encourages ideal occlusion (tooth alignment).

Ideal rest oral posture – When your orofacial system is at rest, the tongue ideally will rest comfortably against the roof of the mouth. Functional orthodontics helps achieve this goal.

Facial growth guidance also could lead to the following benefits throughout life:

  • Remodeling and bone development behind the canines, which literally can alter facial appearance
  • Cheekbones become fuller and more developed
  • Patients who correct their breathing enjoy the benefits of a wider airway, increasing their quality of sleep and minimizing the likelihood that a sleep breathing disorder develops
  • Helps resolve “turkey neck,” the unglamorous name for wrinkled or sagging skin on the neck that is more prominent among those with a recessed chin
  • Achieving a jawline with better definition and angles
  • Looking younger thanks to diminished facial lines and smile lines, as well as lips and cheeks that appear fuller
  • Straightening an upturned nose
  • Developing a healthy, beautiful smile with perfectly-aligned teeth

How Facial Growth Guidance Works

A series of oral appliances prescribed by a dental professional who is well versed in Orthotropics® helps to guide facial growth down and forward as Mother Nature intended.

This method also can fix an array of issues related to your bite, such as:

  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (also known as TMJ disorder)
  • Poor posture
  • Issues with the airway
  • A sleep breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea

The discipline of Orthotropics® allows a trained practitioner to unlock the genetic growth potential of the upper jaw—without the need for jaw surgery. Facial growth guidance is the ideal alternative to jaw surgery. It doesn’t involve any surgery or downtime. To learn more about the applications of Orthotropics® or the overall benefits of facial growth guidance, visit the website of the North American Association of Facial Orthotropics to find a practitioner near you or contact us today.