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Braces

My Upper and Lower Jaws Are Not Aligned

04/27/2010

Question:

Hello, Doctor. 

I noticed a few years ago that my upper teeth aren`t really aligned with my lower teeth, meaning that, if we consider my upper teeth as the reference, then my lower teeth ( lower jaw ) is very slightly deviated to the left. My upper teeth are perfectly aligned with each other, same goes with my lower teeth, however, my lower canines aren`t, the right middle lower canine is protruding, the left middle canine is tilted backwards, the lateral canines are tilted too, and when i close my mouth, sometimes my upper and lower jaws are separated by a small gap, and sometimes the upper jaw is overlapping over the lower jaw ( just about 0.5cm), i don`t know if that`s normal either. My face is ok, but my lower lip is also very slightly diverted to the left ( again, considering my upper lip as reference). Could you please advise me as to what i should do? Does this need surgery to fix, or will braces be enough to fix the problem? My lower teeth have been like this since i was little i remember, i`m 20 years old now. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Answer:

If you are interested in correcting the asymmetry of your jaws then surgery is necessary. If you do not want any facial change and just want your teeth to fit together better, it is possible that orthodontics might help. The degree to which orthodontics can help  is a complex decision and would need more information to answer.

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Response by:

Mark G Hans, DDS, MSD Mark G Hans, DDS, MSD
Professor of Orthodontics
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University