Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > TMJ Forum

Non-surgical treatment for jaw asymmetry?

Hi guys.
I have relatively mild asymmetry of the jaw, which is causing me stress.

I'm looking for info on how treatable this is without surgery, and preferably without orthodontics either. I've read a bit about splints and treatment by neuromuscular dentists but the info can be vague and I just want a solid idea of what can be done.

The deformity is mild, but it's more than enough to bother me. I have been photographing myself all day and I find I can pretty much achieve an acceptable appearance if I shift my jaw to one side, but it is not comfortable and I cannot relax,

Please, nobody tell me to live with it - that's not an option.

Thanks.

Edit: I should add that I do have other TMJ symptoms, including crunching and popping from one side and some occasional pain.
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First Helper catsbox
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replied January 3rd, 2011
Asymetry of the Jaw
The asymmetry is more than likely not from your jaw, but from hypertrophy of your masseter muscles. As the imbalance continues the muscle that is working the most i.e. during bruxism @ nighttime, the muscle enlarges. Over a period of time the muscle use will increase. The concen is what is happening to your TMJ? More than likely the side opposite the hypertrophy is @ most risk. Explore why you are grinding, were you in an Auto Accident?
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replied January 3rd, 2011
Hi, and thanks for the reply.

I was never in any accident and I don't think I grind at all. My jaw tends to hang slack most of the time as I don't really have a comfortable bite. Basically, if I open my mouth and then close my jaw straight upwards then the teeth meet and then my jaw slides slightly to the left before my teeth find a (semi) comfortable spot to rest together.

A couple of things:
I have a wisdom tooth (lower left) that could've made some difference in how my bite functions. It sticks up but doesn't intrude too much on my (current) bite.

I do think my left side of the mandible might be slightly shorter than the right. Can't be sure though.

I do think I have some muscle wastage on the left. (Could be increased muscle on the right I suppose).

I do tend to chew to the left.

Thanks again for your reply. I really need to know my options for just shifting my bite to the right and giving me a more comfortable relaxed bite. Can I develop the muscles on the left? My entire cheek seems a bit smaller on that side.

Matt
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replied May 8th, 2011
Asymmetric face development
Hi Matt,

What you are describing sounds a lot like what i have.

I'm not sure if my left side of the mandible is underdeveloped compared to the right or that the right side of my face just has more tissue/muscle.

Is there anyway you can upload a picture so i can compare? I will upload some if you would like to compare also.

I have been researching neuromuscular dentistry which seems to be an option,

hope to hear soon,

Ben
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replied January 3rd, 2011
Response
Look for a provider in your area that exclusively does Craniofacial diagnositic care. You don't want a DDS/DDM who took a course over a w/e on how to care for malocclusion. You want someone who will examine how you bite sitting upright & while lying down. I went through a myriad of practioners who looked @ TMJ as a Valium Difficency. Have you had a panoflex X-ray of your face & jaw? If not, I would suggest starting there. In addition, do you have any tender spots on either side of your face. i.e. when pressing on the muscle bellies of the masseters are there any painful spots that you can massage away? Also has this facial difference been since childhood, or after your permanent teeth came in?
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replied January 3rd, 2011
Are you talking about a craniofacial surgeon? (I'm in the UK by the way).
I may of had that sort of X-ray before but not for this reason.

No tender spots that I can find.

I don't believe the facial asymmetry was there as a child. I think it came about in early adulthood, but I can't be sure. The typical TMJ popping and clicking came about after childhood.

Can wisdom teeth cause this?
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replied January 3rd, 2011
IMO, I don't think anyone can diagnose you online without having examined you and having obtained some imaging. My doc thought my asymmetry was due to muscle dysfunction as well. A CT scan proved otherwise.
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replied January 4th, 2011
catsbox, what was the cause of your asymmetry and was it fixed? If so, how?

Thanks.
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replied January 4th, 2011
My diagnosis is progressive condylar resorption. I have bilateral osteoarthrosis with displaced disks. My treatment is finally just starting with splint therapy, physical therapy, soft diet and NSAIDs. My bite shifted to an open bite about 9 months ago now so I must have orthodontic treatment and possibly reconstructive surgery once my jaw joints stabilize. My facial asymmetry is the result of one side of my jaw being shorter than the other due to the bone degeneration.
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replied February 8th, 2014
Guys I have the same condition and I get very self conscience about it. Thank god Im not alone, I am in my late teens and i believe that puberty had made this condition worse. Some days i wake up and the left side of my jaw(the muscle or tendon) hurts or is in pain. This sometimes happen when i bite/chew. I hate it, and i remember in second grade this kid had the nerve to say to my face "you're ugly." Well theres nothing left to say…
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replied August 6th, 2016
Hi guys.
Im 16years old and i have the same condition too,it bothers me everytime. I have a crooked teeth back then when i was a kid. At 14years old,my Orthodontist put braces to fix my teeth.Im happy about the results but my face became asymmetrical and my bite is so uncomfortable.My left cheek is skinny and my right cheek is normal. I remember when my left jaw is always in pain but i didnt mind it because i thought it was just normal. Is there any treatment without sugery to fix my TMJ? Please reply,thankyou.

Jeremy
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