Jaw surgery is also referred to as orthognathic surgery. This surgery is often needed when a patient’s teeth and jaws do not meet together. This can cause many problems, and jaw surgery can realign and reposition the jaw and teeth. The teeth often need to be straightened with orthodontics prior to orthognathic surgery. The results allow the teeth and jaw to function properly together.
There are many reasons why the teeth and jaw might not be aligned properly. The upper and lower jaws can grow or develop at different rates. This can then influence an improper bite, chewing and speech problems, and can affect oral health care. Appearance may also be affected by the shape of the jaw line.
Signs you might need surgery
- Protruding jaw
- Problems breathing
- Problems biting
- Problems chewing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Speech problems
- Open bite
- Jaw pain
There are many people who are born with these symptoms or signs. Some develop due to hereditary or environmental influences. Trauma could also occur in an accident or sports-related incident that can cause issues to the face. By understanding and identifying these signs and indicators, many health problems can be fixed.
Improve Your Health
Orthognathic surgery can greatly improve the teeth, eliminate excessive wear of the teeth, and solve problems with biting food. Headaches from chronic jaw and joint pain can also be eliminated. Patients who cannot breath well may be able to correct sleep apnea and chronic mouth breathing. The lips will also no longer feel strained if they do not meet properly. Simple aspects of daily life that are easy and natural for most are not for those who have orthognathic problems. Correcting these issues can allow for a normal diet and eating routine and more rest during the night. This can greatly influence overall health and can provide a happier lifestyle.
Before and after surgery, orthodontics will usually be needed and will most likely be part of the long-term treatment plan. The orthognathic surgeon will advise what the best surgery option is and how the jaw can be corrected. Surgeries that are common include correcting an open bite, correcting a protruding lower jaw, and correcting a receding lower jaw or chin. These surgeries have different effects on the teeth and structure of the mouth. If surgery is being completed to correct an open bite, the bone in the upper tooth portion of the jaw is removed and the jaw is screwed into position with screws. When a protruding lower jaw is corrected, the bones in the rear area of the jaw are separated from those in the front area. This allows the lower jaw to be moved and correctly aligned so that it is no longer protruding outwards. A receding lower jaw or a weak chin is corrected by separating the bone located in the lower part of the jaw from its base. This allows it to be moved and modified. The chin and tooth portion of the jaw can then be moved and placed in the correct location.
The surgery will take place in a surgical facility or hospital where anesthesia is administered. The surgery itself can take two to three hours, or longer depending on what is being completed. Whether the patient will need to stay overnight in the hospital depends on the severity and type of surgery being completed. Medications will be provided by the surgeon with instructions. It is important to stay hydrated and try to drink non-sugary liquids. Keeping the mouth clean is very important after surgery and a baby tooth brush can be used to keep the teeth clean. Care will be needed around areas where incisions are located which could include the cheeks near the molar teeth and near the jaw lines. A chlorhexidine gluconate solution can help with rinsing the mouth and the tongue can be brushed while using this. Rinsing the mouth with warm salt water can help speed up the healing process. This can be done approximately every one to two hours. Any splints or wires that have been placed in the mouth will need to be kept clean. Throughout the healing process hygiene is very important to prevent infections. All steps that the surgeon feels are necessary should be taken and followed to ensure a fast and uncomplicated recovery.
If you have trouble eating, swallowing, breathing, jaw pain, or headaches, Dr. Jamali and his staff can help you improve your oral and overall health. Contact his office for a consultation at 212-480-2777 for help today.