Your child’s jaw may be affecting their health!

An underdeveloped jaw can bring on a number of other health complications such as sleep apnea and temporomandibular joint disorder…


Here at Cortés Advanced Dentistry we are passionate about ensuring dental health from a young age. By starting dental treatment at a young age we can reduce the number of issues that come back to bite you or your child later in life. Taking precautionary measures against troublesome disorders such as sleep apnea can save your child suffering and also save you a lot of worry and money in the future. Here at Cortés Advanced Dentistry in Manhattan we urge parents to invest in their child’s teeth at a young age as nothing beats your natural set of adult teeth!

What constitutes an undeveloped jaw?

An undeveloped jaw will look like a ‘shorter’ bottom jaw. This will create a facial profile that slants towards the neck, rather than the preferred structure of a chin that once again protrudes slightly from the face. An underdeveloped jaw not only makes the visage of the face displeasing, it can cause a number of dental complications due to incorrect oral posture. Incorrect oral posture can cause:

All of these conditions are interrelated and work in a domino effect. First of all, you or your child will experience bone loss which results in the jaw appearing to recede. Then you will develop an incorrect bite, incorrect speech pattern, temporomandibular joint disorder and potentially sleep apnea which is the most dangerous condition out of the potential disorders.

What can I do to prevent these disorders?

Early intervention is the easiest and most sure-fire way through which you can prevent future dental complications. In order to this we may recommend orthodontics or an oral appliance to guide your jaw in the right direction. It is also suggested that you stick to a diet that includes tough and crunch foods so that you can build up jaw bone gradually. It’s important not to overexert your jaw during this process however as this can increase the symptoms of TMD (headaches, jaw discomfort, speech and chewing impediment). If you or your child already has an underdeveloped jaw and sleep apnea you will need to say a practitioner qualified in that area.

Delving further into sleep apnea…

Sleep apnea is a complicated disorder which is induced by improper orofacial structure and excess throat tissue. While you or your child sleeps, the tongue may slide back in the throat or the throat tissue may envelop the breathing passage, resulting in a scarified quality of sleep-breathing. It’s imperative that this condition is alleviated as sleep apnea has been attributed to a number of serious medical conditions including:

  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Increased risk of dementia
  • Cardiovascular disease 

Dr Martha Cortés is qualified to treat sleep apnea through a variety of means including oral myofacial therapy and neuromuscular dentistry. These treatment options utilize mouth guards and exercises to increase jaw function and build up bone.

If you are interested in finding out more about sleep apnea in your child, or if you want to have your child evaluated for an underdeveloped jaw please visit Cortés Advanced Dentistry in Manhattan or contact us here.

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Do you experience constant headaches, jaw pain or clicking & popping of the jaw? Visit our TMJ website.