What is a narrow upper jaw?
A narrow upper jaw is an orthodontic concern characterised by an upper palate and arch of teeth that is significantly narrower than the lower. In the ideal bite (or “occlusion”), the upper jaw is wider than the lower jaw, creating an even distribution of load across the teeth, and a slight overlap (“overbite” and “overjet”) of the anterior (“front”) teeth. The narrow upper jaw compromises this occlusion, causing a number of issues for the sufferer.
What causes it?
A narrow upper jaw is often hereditary, but may also be the result of:
- The development or under-development of the jaw
What impact does it have?
While a narrow upper jaw may have a cosmetic impact on the sufferer, it may also cause crooked teeth and crowding, protruding or prominent front teeth, crossbites, and impacted (stuck) teeth. These problems may also affect your ability to bite, chew, and talk, as well as putting undue pressure on one or more of your jaw joints and causing premature tooth wear, and even dental trauma.
How is it treated?
A narrow upper jaw can be treated in several ways, but is ideally addressed while the mouth and upper jaw are still developing. Early intervention may include an expander device, while later treatment of more severe cases often involves a combined surgical and orthodontic approach, or orthodontic treatment with or without the removal of teeth.
To find out more about narrow upper jaws, and your treatment options, contact us today to organise a free consultation with Specialist Orthodontist, Dr David Austin.