Did you know that more than 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ disorders?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) joins your lower jaw (mandible) to your skull. The joint is located in front of your ears on both the left and right sides of your head. Your jaw may move freely, making it possible to talk and eat.
If you have jaw discomfort, a misaligned bite, a facial asymmetry or irregularity as a result of trauma or illness, difficulties chewing or swallowing, or if you have obstructive sleep apnea, this may be difficult for you to do. This is where jaw correction and corrective jaw surgery become crucial for your general quality of life and health.
Keep on reading to learn all about the four signs that you need corrective jaw surgery and what the process entails.
Do I Need Corrective Jaw Surgery?
Facial harmony, the relationship between the form of your face and your jaw placement, is critical to many of the primary activities of everyday living, including breathing, eating, speaking, and swallowing.
Teeth that are adequately supported by your jaws and coordinated with the rest of your face muscles and jaw joints can only be achieved via facial harmony (known as your temporomandibular joints or TMJs).
Orthognathic (jaw) surgery may correct a wide range of dental and facial malformations and enhance your teeth and jaws in terms of function and aesthetics.
And, if you’re wondering where to get a jaw correction, you’ll want an established oral and maxillofacial surgery clinic to take care of the procedure for you.
Signs That You’re Due for Jaw Correction Surgery
We’ve briefly discussed TMJD, but we haven’t delved into its symptoms.
You’re plagued with jaw discomfort or headaches regularly. One of the most common causes of headaches and migraines is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD). Jaw joint discomfort and headaches may be alleviated by corrective jaw surgery, the only TMJ treatment.
Now, we can explore other common signs of jaw issues.
1. Difficulty With Chewing
You’re having difficulty swallowing, chewing, or biting your food. When the upper and lower jaws develop at different rates, it may lead to misaligned jaws that make it difficult to chew.
Orthognathic surgery may be necessary if you have difficulty biting, eating, or swallowing.
2. Sleep Apnea or Difficulty in Breathing
Snoring, sleep apnea or difficulty breathing are symptoms of your condition.
Another indication of a misaligned jaw is sleep apnea. Misaligned jaws can trigger sleep apnea, restricting breathing pathways. The jaw surgery performed by our dental surgeon may help treat sleep apnea.
3. Dealing With an Open Bite
You’re in the “open bite.” How much space does your upper and lower teeth have when the mouth is closed?
If this is the case, you may be suffering from an open bite, which may impair your speech. Your open bite may need jaw surgery to close it entirely if it’s severe enough.
4. Misalignment or Imbalance in the Jawline
The look of your jawline is off because of a face injury or an imbalance. An orthognathic surgeon may perform surgery to repair jaw fractures and improve the appearance of a misaligned jaw.
Surgery may be necessary if you’ve suffered severe facial or cranial damage.
What Is a Jaw Correction Surgery: The Stages of the Procedure
An in-depth consultation with a professional oral and maxillofacial surgeon is usually the first step in corrective jaw surgery.
Orthognathic surgery is often divided into three stages. So, let’s explore them one at a time.
Stage 1: Orthodontic Preparation for Surgery
First, an orthodontist may use braces to level and align your teeth, depending on your specific needs. Between twelve and eighteen months are required for this alignment procedure.
However, this is not a must for every patient, and your first consultation will help you determine whether or not you need it.
Before contemplating a surgical procedure, an oral and maxillofacial expert will examine your facial anatomy and perform 3D “virtual” surgery on your CT scans. As a consequence of this preparation, specific surgical templates and guidance may be created to ensure that your operation goes precisely as planned.
There are several advantages to using personalized guides, including reducing the time spent under anesthesia, minimizing problems, and improving surgical precision.
Stage 2: Surgical Treatment Starts
After that, a date is set for a surgical procedure to realign your upper or lower jaw, chin, or nose (or a combination of these) to achieve perfect dental and jawbone alignment (your chin, nose, and lips).
You will be hospitalized for two to three days after your jaw surgery. Under complete general anesthesia (while you are unconscious), the process takes two to four hours.
These incisions are performed within the mouth to cut bones in the face, which is what osteotomy is all about. There is a lower risk of noticeable scarring since these locations are hidden in either the lips, nose, or face skin creases.
Your surgeon may use Mini-plates and screws to transport the osteotomized jawbones to their new locations after being cut. The screws and plates help the bone repair to regain its previous strength. Most patients don’t require them for the first ten to twelve weeks after surgery.
Stage 3: Orthodontics After Surgery
After surgery, you may need to wear braces for three to six months if you begin orthodontic treatment in the first place.
Your orthodontist may suggest that you use a retainer after they remove your braces. This will keep your teeth in their current position and avoid recurrence. You wouldn’t need braces following surgery if you didn’t need them in stage 1.
Correcting Jaw Issues and Disorders: Explained
You’re not alone in dreading the process of taking care of your teeth and oral health. However, if you decide to ignore any jaw issues you’re facing, then you’re cheating yourself out of a painful and healthy jaw and teeth.
We hope that our guide has highlighted the common four signs that you’re in dire need of jaw correction surgery. And, if you have concerns or questions, you can always contact us at your convenience.