An anterior growth guidance appliance, or AGGA works to remodel or reshape the jaws or narrow palate without the pain and discomfort of surgery by gently stimulating the nerves of the palate, which triggers the body to produce new bone tissue. Thus, the jaw is expanded, the airway is made larger, the midface becomes fully developed, there is more room to accommodate the permanent teeth, and a beautiful, healthy smile develops. For many years, the answer was jaw surgery, but advances in dentistry have provided a nonsurgical solution: removable anterior growth guidance appliances, or RAGGA. RAGGA can help to remodel and reshape the jaws painlessly and are an excellent treatment option for both adults and children!
Can the jaw be remodeled?
Facial growth orthodontics can help reshape the jaw through the use of an anterior growth guidance appliance, or AGGA. Jaw growth can be remodeled in adults and redirected in children to bring balance to the jaw and the physiological structure of the face.
Can children be treated with an anterior growth guidance appliance?
You may think that the best time for orthodontic treatment is when all your child’s adult teeth have erupted. Unfortunately, this line of thought — while common — is outdated. The best time to begin orthodontic treatment is before your child’s facial bones and jaw stop growing. Early intervention means the chance to direct the growth of the jaw in a way that allows enough space for the adult teeth to come in, thus preventing oral and overall health problems when the child reaches adulthood. By guiding the upper jaw to reach its full potential, the lower jaw can also reach its intended size. This allows both jaws to function correctly without straining the jaw joints. Do you think your child needs orthodontic treatment? If you’re noticing the symptoms we mentioned above, or your child is living with imbalances in the face and jaw, consider orthodontics an ounce of prevention. Children who can benefit from RAGGA often experience:
- Problems breathing, including mouth breathing or an open-mouth resting posture
- Poor oral resting posture
- Problems with proper tongue posture
- Tongue tie or lip tie
- Speech delays or speech impediments
- Sleep apnea or other sleep breathing disorder
- Behavior disorders
- Interrupted growth
- Forward head posture
- Sore throat or enlarged tonsils
Can adults be treated with an anterior growth guidance appliance?
You may think orthodontic treatment is just for kids. Not anymore! In fact, about 25 percent of those undergoing orthodontic treatment are adults! But these aren’t your average braces.Many adults are dissatisfied with their smile because they did not have the chance to get braces or orthodontic care when they were younger or they did have braces and had an orthodontic relapse after years. These patients are seeking out new advances in orthodontic care as adults. But why? In most cases, conventional orthodontics only addresses the appearance of the smile and not jaw or facial growth and development issues. Thus, many adult patients are seeking out AGGA orthodontic treatment to address these issues and get the smile they’ve always wanted. Advances in technology have allowed orthodontic treatment to become shorter, more comfortable and more discreet, making AGGA treatment more appealing to adults seeking to improve their smile and facial appearance.Many adults undergoing AGGA treatment also love the appearance-enhancing benefits of the treatment and report:
- An improved smile
- Corrected midface deficiency
- Improved facial structure
- More youthful appearance
- Balanced profile
- More confidence
RAGGA and TMJD
Some others choose to undergo RAGGA treatment because they suffer sleep apnea or from temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJD. TMJD develops because there is stress on the jaw joints because the upper and lower jaws are unbalanced. TMJD is a common, and often painful, condition than can cause a clicking or popping in the jaws, jaw stiffness, loss of jaw function, headaches and migraines, ear pain, vertigo, and pain in the neck, back and shoulders. Severe cases of TMJD may require surgical treatment. By helping the jaws reach their full genetic potential, stress on the jaw joints is reduced, allowing patients to live the life they deserve — pain free!
RAGGA and Sleep Apnea
When the upper jaw does not reach its proper size or the lower jaw is set too far back, the airway is also undersized and the nasal passages can be affected. A consequence of having a small airway is that sleep breathing conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea can develop. Sleep apnea is a dangerous health condition that affects more than 22 million Americans and is characterized by interruptions in breathing during sleep. Many individuals living with sleep apnea are also undiagnosed or untreated, which can contribute to an increased risk of serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, some forms of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive problems and mood disorders, including depression and anxiety.
Consequences of Jaw Development Issues
The most common consequences of interrupted jaw development include:
Overbites and underbites (in which the lower teeth stick out)
- Crossbites, or bites that “overjet”
- Crowded teeth, crooked teeth and not enough room for adult permanent teeth
- Impacted teeth (teeth that do not have room to erupt)
- Jaw problems, such as TMJD
- Sleep breathing disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea
- An underdeveloped, weak chin or a chin that is set far back, causing the face to look unbalanced
- A sunken appearance
- Premature aging of the face around the mouth and nose
- Head pain, neck pain and facial pain
- Chronic headaches and migraine
- Poor posture
- Increased risk of chronic illness
Learn More About RAGGA in Waco, Texas
Do you want to learn more about RAGGA and how facial development orthodontics can help you? Call us now to learn more, tell us your treatment goals and get a customized orthodontic treatment plan! It’s never too late for orthodontics or to get the smile you deserve.