How Jaw Alignment Influences Social Perceptions

Via Instagram / @bradpittofflcial

Your greatest fashion accessory isn’t your Gucci jeans or Coach handbag. It’s your smile, which is directly influenced by your dental health and jaw alignment. The two go hand-in-hand. People form opinions about you based on your appearance, whether or not they are justified.

They decide on your social status.

They guess your income.

They make value judgments about you.

While other’s opinions about you cannot fully define your personality as a whole, it is essential to put these things in perspective.

We make these decisions for evolutionary reasons. Think about how many choices you have to make in a day or even an hour. What clothes should you wear? Does this Red Valentino coat match your silhouettes? Should you order takeaway or delivery?

All those decisions take time and energy. It makes sense that humans evolved mental shortcuts to respond quickly and not waste precise time. The same thing applies to how we view a person’s appearance concerning their jaw alignment.

Dental Health and Socio-Economic Status
People link dental health with a person’s socioeconomic status, which, in turn, shapes social perceptions. This association isn’t entirely out of line.

A survey of American adults found that over 80 percent believed that bad teeth could adversely affect both your personal and professional life. After all, it’s a statement about how much you invest in your health and looks. It speaks volumes about how you want to be perceived by others.

It’s no wonder that spending on ways to improve your appearance has increased in recent years. That’s also a wise decision, given the association between cardiovascular disease and dental health.

Effects of Poor Jaw Alignment
Several factors can affect jaw alignment. Some are beyond your control with the genetic roll of the dice you inherit. If you loved your dummy too much, you might have a bad bite, which influences how everything lines up with your teeth and jaw.

However, it doesn’t stop there.

Problems with jaw alignment can alter your facial profile and make you appear older. One of the reasons is that your chin may recede, which can attenuate these effects. It can also lead to other issues that can influence your well-being.

You may have headaches and jaw pain that can sour your mood.

Some people feel embarrassed by poor jaw alignment that makes them feel self-conscious.

You may find that your sleep quality has declined because you’re snoring or suffering from sleep apnea.

All of these things can impact how you interact with others and your world. They rest with issues that money can’t correct, at least not without some changes that can improve the situation.

Fortunately, you have options.

Improving Jaw Alignment
The technology in dentistry has skyrocketed in recent years. No longer do you have to rely just on painful braces or surgery to correct a bad bite or repair a misaligned jaw.

Innovations have emerged that make correcting jaw alignment more reliable and less invasive. The results are also quicker. That’s good news for anyone who struggles with deciding to act because of an unpleasant past experience. Often, these aftershocks are far-reaching and long-lasting.

There are several approaches you can take, each with their pros and cons. They also have varying degrees of invasiveness and cost. Often, dentists use a variety of procedures for a customized solution.

Dental Bonding
Dental bonding is the least expensive and invasive method. A soft resin fills in the gaps and unwanted spaces to help your jaw align better. One of the best things about it is that it is painless and requires no anesthesia, either. On the downside, the materials can crack, especially if not done correctly. However, the results are immediate.

Enamel Shaping
Enamel shaping is an excellent option if you only need minor work done. Using standard teeth-cleaning tools, your dentist will recontour a chipped or misshapen tooth so that they line up better. It is also pain-free and affordable.

Veneers are thin pieces of resin or porcelain that fit over the surface of your teeth to give them a more uniform appearance. It can compensate for changes in their shape to make up for gaps that may affect your jaw alignment. The process is time-consuming and costly. It requires multiple trips to the dentist because it is a customized product. The results are striking. However, they are not a permanent fix.

Crowns go over the entire tooth to improve its shape and appearance. Like the previous method, it is also expensive, involving several repeat visits. It is more painful because your dentist will drill off some of your enamel for a better fit and alignment. It is also a short-term solution that may last up to 15 years, depending on the material.

Orthodontics include braces and aligners that move your teeth back into place using pressure. Metal is a traditional material, but you can also get clear products that are less noticeable. Correcting your jaw alignment is a work-in-progress that can involve months or years with regular dental appointments to monitor your progress. It is effective with long-lasting results.

Dental Implants
Dental implants offer a reliable fix if missing or damaged teeth are the cause of your misaligned jaw. This procedure replaces the entire tooth, including the root. As you may surmise, it is a highly invasive process that is often painful, with additional health risks from infections or nerve injuries. However, it is a permanent solution.

It’s unfortunate but a fact of life that your looks influence the social perceptions of other people. It’s also something that can affect your well-being. Fixing a jaw alignment issue is a weighty decision. Nonetheless, you likely find the results profoundly impact your quality of life that makes it worth considering.