Uneven Jaw Treatment: What Is It?
The word “unequal” comes from the Latin words unequalis and malus which means “differing.” In other words, it’s not just a difference in size or shape; it’s a difference in quality. Unequal bones are different than equal ones. They’re not all bad, but they don’t necessarily look good either.
In general, there are two types of uneven bones: asymmetrical and symmetrical. An example would be the shoulder blade. If one side is bigger than the other, then it’s considered asymmetric. A person with an asymmetry between their upper arm and forearm (a right-handed person) might have a smaller left bicep than a lefty (left-handed).
On the other hand, if both sides are larger than average, then it’s called symmetrical. For instance, a person with a symmetrical upper body might have a larger chest than someone with an asymmetry.
An uneven jawbone is one where the sides aren’t even. This could be due to genetics or from some sort of trauma such as cancer treatments or accidents. There are many possible causes for this condition. Some examples include:
Cancer Treatments – Cancer treatments may cause tumors to grow on the bones around the mouth and cheekbones, causing them to become crooked. As the rest of the face repairs itself, it may not heal quite right, causing a change in the location of the bony structures and creating an uneven appearance.
Accidents – Car accidents, sports accidents, and other trauma can all cause trauma to the jawbone that could result in an uneven appearance or even broken bones.
Dental Work – Tooth extractions and other dental work can also damage the jawbone and cause it to become off-kilter.
Genetics – Sometimes, people are just born with it.
What Are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of an uneven jawbone can vary depending on the cause and severity. They can range from mild to severe and even debilitating. In most cases, an uneven jaw will be obvious in appearance because one side will be noticeably larger or smaller than the other. This is called a unilateral difference. In other cases, the difference occurs more on the inside and is called a bilateral difference. In this case, the jaw may not look obviously uneven but the inside of the person’s mouth will look skewed on a CT scan.
In some cases, the condition will not be evident until later in life. For instance, after an accident or serious trauma to the face, the bones may mend themselves in an uneven manner. This can cause problems when chewing or cause the teeth to become loose and fall out more easily.
What Is the Treatment?
Treatment for an uneven jawbone can vary depending on the cause. In some cases, the condition will fix itself in time as the bones grow to a more normal size and shape. If this does not occur, surgery may be needed to realign and remold the bones. In other cases, the condition is caused by cancerous growths that need to be removed before healing can take place.
Surgery is usually done to help reset or replace missing teeth. After the jaw is healed, dentures or implants can be placed to help replace the missing teeth, if needed.
Sources & references used in this article:
Stapling end effector configured to compensate for an uneven gap between a first jaw and a second jaw by FE Shelton IV, JL Harris – US Patent 10,213,201, 2019 – Google Patents
Crusher jaw construction by RS Kuntz – US Patent 3,241,777, 1966 – Google Patents
Surgical stapling instrument incorporating an uneven multistroke firing mechanism having a rotary transmission by FE Shelton IV, ME Setser, DB Hoffman – US Patent 7,059,508, 2006 – Google Patents
Approximating apparatus for surgical jaw structure by DT Green, H Bolanos, JJ Blewett, K Ratcliff… – US Patent …, 1994 – Google Patents
Approximating apparatus for surgical jaw structure and method of using the same by DT Green, H Bolanos, JJ Blewett, K Ratcliff… – US Patent …, 1994 – Google Patents
Head shape modulates diversification of a classic cichlid pharyngeal jaw innovation by ED Burress, M Tan… – The American …, 2019 – journals.uchicago.edu
Radial jaw biopsy forceps by TO Bales, CR Slater, KW Smith – US Patent 6,264,617, 2001 – Google Patents
Positive engaging jaw clutch or brake by JH Bent, RH Olsson – US Patent 3,204,731, 1965 – Google Patents