Do I really need jaw surgery?
When you can’t survive the biting pain and is too chronic to be corrected by braces, then it is time for you to get jaw surgery. Many people misunderstand it to be a scary process, but it is not. People usually opt for jaw surgery when they have a malocclusion. The different types of malocclusion are crossbite, underbite, overbite, and open bite. So if your dentist suggests you to treat your malocclusion, it is because it is too severe and requires fixing.
Other reasons to go through jaw surgery
Some people consider surgery for improving jawline or facial symmetry. For others, it is a requirement medically. Some of the reason you require jaw surgery are:
1. If you have asymmetrical or Receding or protruding Jawline
When your lower or upper jawline is not aligned correctly, it means that bones have grown abnormally in a part where they shouldn’t. This case is typical in lower jaw protrudes, recedes or asymmetrical jawline. You can suffer from these abnormalities from a younger age. It would help if you waited until adulthood before going through orthognathic surgery. However, if your child has it, you can cure it with headgear, braces and retainers.
2. If you have facial trauma and injury
If you have gone through an accident or other injury during your sports activities, you might want a surgery. Also, if you break your jaw in the process or damage your gum and teeth surgery is the best option. Jawline surgery is beneficial to restore symmetrical face shape and restore standard jaw functionality.
3. Severe Jaw Pain
When you touch the joint area in front of your ear while opening your mouth if you feel occasional popping, it is normal. However, if it feels painful or your jaw locks when your mouth is wide open, you may need surgery. This dysfunction is known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction. This problem involves damaged tissue and swollen areas.
Moreover, if the doctors can cure the problem through a non-invasive approach, then your doctor might recommend it. This treatment involves mouth guard, orthodontic appliance or retainer. But in other cases, it is necessary for curing pain and restoring jaw function.
4. Jaw tumours and cysts
Your mouth and jaw comprise of different types of muscle, bone, glands, tissue and mucosa. These many things make the area more susceptible to cysts or tumours than other parts of the body. The risk increases too many folds if you are a smoker or drinker.
Thus, if cysts or tumour grow inside or around your jaw, you will require surgery to remove it. Moreover, it also helps in preventing deformities and other related problems. However, if the cyst or tumour is cancerous, you will need radiation or chemotherapy as treatment.
How much does jaw surgery hurt?
Every surgery has some discomfort after it’s over. Remember to not to drive home alone after the surgery. As the doctor will give you anesthesia, you will be drowsy, so it’s not a good idea to go home alone.
Some of the common side effects of jaw surgery are swelling in the facial area, numbness, and lower face pain. However, the side-effects recover soon in just two or three weeks. Moreover, you will not feel any pain during the surgery as the doctor will give you anesthesia.
After your surgery, the doctor will prescribe you some painkillers and sometimes over-the-top medicine to release pain. These medicines make the whole recovery process very easy. So if you follow the doctor’s instruction, you will recover soon and feel minimal discomfort. If you rinse your mouth with salt water several times after surgery, the pain reduces to even more extent.
Other risks of surgery
Apart from the pain you experience in the process, you may experience other risks after the procedure. The risk reduces if you choose a well-versed and experienced doctor for carrying out your jaw surgery. However, the stakes are
- Jaw fracture
- Nerve Injury
- Blood loss
- Relapse of the jaw surgery, hence jaw returning to the original place.
- Loss of a part of the jaw
- The requirement of implanting root canal in some teeth
- Need for some other surgery
- Problem with joint pain and bite fit
- Bad breath or dry mouth
- There may also be a problem in speaking fluently.
- Difficulty in eating, chewing or swallowing.
Five types of Jaw surgeries
There are different types of jaw surgery for the other cause. Depending on the defect and the extent of severity, your treatment will depend. Thus, five common types of orthognathic surgeries are:
- Mandibular Osteotomy
- Maxillary Osteotomy
Recovering from jaw surgery
After going through the surgery, you will need to take extra care of your jaw until it recovers completely. If it requires you to take some time off from work, do not avoid or ignore your health and do it for your sake. The surgeon will provide you with a guideline that you need to follow, so do not skip it. Further precautions and care you can maintain are:
- Follow the oral guideline led down by the doctor. The doctor might tell you to not to brush or use mouth wash for a couple of days.
- Eat softer food and avoid crunchy, chewy or hard food.
Take the right medicines and at the right time mentioned by your doctor.
- Avoid any hard work or work which put stress on your brain.
- Take the required time off from work or school, even if it requires 1 to 3 weeks. Also, take some days off from family responsibility it would be best for you.
Do not overthink before getting a jaw surgery because you can recover fast with the right food and precaution. Get yourself operated from a dental care center if the doctor suggests you so. However, if you feel continuous pain or having speaking difficulty for long informs it to your doctor. The doctor can help you by analyzing your condition and treating the problem.