Jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a type of surgical procedure that is performed to correct irregularities or deformities of the jawbone. The surgery is typically recommended for patients who have jaw misalignment or malocclusion, which can cause problems with biting, chewing, speaking, and even breathing.
During the surgery, the jawbone is repositioned and secured in place with small screws and plates. The procedure may also involve reshaping the jawbone to improve its overall appearance and function.
Jaw surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia and requires a hospital stay of a few days. Recovery time varies depending on the extent of the surgery, but most patients can expect to take a few weeks off work or school to allow for proper healing.
Some Examples of Jaw Disorders That Can Be Caused by Congenital
There are several jaw disorders that can be caused by congenital factors, meaning they are present at birth or developed during fetal development. Some examples of jaw disorders caused by congenital factors include:
Cleft lip and palate: This is a birth defect in which the baby’s lip or roof of the mouth (palate) does not fuse properly during fetal development. This can cause difficulties with feeding, speech, and dental development.
Mandibular hypoplasia: This is a condition in which the lower jaw bone (mandible) is underdeveloped. It can cause problems with eating, speech, and breathing, and may require surgery to correct.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders: The TMJ is the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. Congenital factors such as abnormal jaw growth or a misaligned bite can cause TMJ disorders, which can result in pain and difficulty opening and closing the mouth.
Hemifacial microsomia: This is a condition in which one side of the face is underdeveloped, including the jaw. It can cause problems with chewing, speech, and appearance.
Pierre Robin sequence: This is a rare genetic disorder that can cause a small lower jaw, cleft palate, and a tongue that falls back into the throat, leading to breathing difficulties. It may require surgery to correct.
It’s important to note that not all jaw disorders are caused by congenital factors. Trauma, infection, and other environmental factors can also contribute to jaw problems. If you are experiencing any issues with your jaw, it’s important to see a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
How Painful Is Jaw Surgery?
The level of pain experienced during and after the surgery can vary from person to person and depends on factors such as the extent of the surgery and individual pain tolerance. However, most patients report experiencing moderate to severe pain after the procedure, which can be managed with pain medication and proper post-operative care. It is important to discuss any concerns about pain management with your surgeon before the surgery.
What Happens during Jaw Surgery?
It is possible that you will need to remain at the hospital for up to four days following the surgery to ensure that your medical professionals can track your progression.
Here’s what you could experience during your stay in the hospital and during the recovery process:
- There will be a plastic splint inside your mouth that the doctor put in during the surgery. The splint helps strengthen your jaw muscles to adapt to your jaw’s new position. You’ll only have to wear your splint when you eat or brush your teeth.
- Your face is likely to appear pretty swollen. Your head will be raised, and you’ll take medications to ease swelling.
- Your doctor will prescribe medications to assist in pain and prevent infections.
- It is essential to apply ice packs to your face for the initial 24 hours and use the frozen pack for 20 minutes on, then 10 minutes off.
- Then, you’ll be starting the liquid diet that you’ll follow for the next couple of weeks.
- Swelling and the placement of the splint inside your mouth could make it difficult for others to comprehend you. It can be a hassle. Inform your doctor that you’re struggling. They’ll recommend things for you to help communicate.
- Your doctor will take off the splint of plastic around eight months after the surgery.
- If you wear braces, you’ll be wearing braces for 6 to 9 months following surgery.
- When your braces are taken off, then you’ll have to wear removable retainers to maintain your teeth in the new position.
Your doctor will inform you how often you must wear your retainers. However, the majority of people wear them throughout the year. In the future, you may require wearing retainers for a few hours each week.
Can I Talk After Jaw Surgery?
Yes, you should be able to talk after jaw surgery, although it may take some time for your speech to return to normal. Depending on the extent of the surgery, you may experience some temporary difficulty speaking due to swelling, numbness, or changes in the position of your jaw or teeth. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions on how to care for your mouth and jaw after surgery, including any restrictions on talking or eating. It is important to follow these instructions carefully to ensure proper healing and successful recovery. If you experience any concerns or complications with your speech, be sure to notify your surgeon right away.
How Long Is Mouth Shut After Jaw Surgery?
After jaw surgery, the length of time that you need to keep your mouth shut will depend on the specific type of surgery you underwent and your individual recovery progress. In general, patients may be required to keep their mouths shut for a few days to a few weeks following surgery to allow the jaw to heal properly. During this time, a liquid or soft food diet may be necessary to avoid putting stress on the jaw. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions on how long you need to keep your mouth shut and how to care for your jaw during the recovery process.
Jaw surgery is usually done to adjust or improve the position of your jaw. It could be performed on your upper or lower jaw or both.
There are numerous types of jaw surgery procedures available. The surgeon and your orthodontist collaborate to design an approach that is tailored to your particular condition.
While Jaw surgery can be considered secure, there are a few dangers associated with it. Your surgeon must make you aware of these prior to your procedure.
The price of jaw surgery is contingent on a variety of variables, such as the surgeon you choose and the kind of procedure. Be sure to verify your insurance policy prior to planning your surgery.