Jaw problems, including overbites, underbites, and other forms of jaw misalignment, can cause a variety of issues with your oral health. Jaw dysfunction tends to result in trouble eating, speaking, and breathing. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may also notice that you suffer from a lack of self-confidence. Orthognathic surgery, also referred to as corrective jaw surgery, can dramatically improve your life by repositioning your jaws into proper alignment. Many patients report that once their jaws are properly aligned, they experience improved oral function and facial aesthetics.
TMJ disorders and mild jaw problems can sometimes be treated with nonsurgical intervention, but severe cases of jaw misalignment will most likely require jaw surgery. Please contact one of our offices in Charleston, Kanawha City, Hurricane (Teays Valley), Huntington, Parkersburg, or Beckley, WV, or Ashland, KY, to schedule a consultation appointment with one of our oral surgeons.
How do I know if I need jaw surgery?
Underbites and overbites, which occur because of uneven development in the upper and lower jaws, are the most common types of jaw dysfunction. In minor cases, orthodontics can correct your bite and get rid of your problems; however, the following severe symptoms may be indicators that you need jaw surgery:
- Chronic jaw pain
- Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea
- Trouble opening or closing the mouth completely
- Difficulty chewing and swallowing food
- Recurring problems with your bite
If you find that any or all of the above symptoms apply to you, you likely suffer from a severe case of jaw dysfunction. Please call one of our offices to schedule a consultation with one of our oral surgeons. We can examine your condition and determine whether jaw surgery is the best treatment for your needs.
Benefits of Jaw Surgery
Corrective jaw surgery is designed to improve a patient’s quality of life dramatically. In many instances, patients struggle for several years before addressing their jaw symptoms and undergoing jaw surgery. The benefits of jaw surgery include
- Improved chewing
- Decreased pain and discomfort
- Improved breathing
- Improved tooth alignment (which also results in less wear on the teeth)
Patients who undergo jaw surgery also report improved facial aesthetics once the swelling decreases and their features are brought into balance. Our office loves seeing the life-changing results that our doctors can provide through jaw surgery.
Jaw Surgery Procedure
Our oral surgeons can perform jaw surgery to improve the function of your jaws by moving them into the proper position. Getting your jaws to align correctly is typically a team effort between your oral surgeon and your orthodontist.
Treatment begins when your orthodontist puts on your braces. Braces are often necessary to shift your teeth into proper position and prepare both your teeth and jaws for surgery. You will need to wear your braces for 18–24 months, but your surgery will happen somewhere in the middle of treatment. During surgery, your oral surgeon will carefully separate your jaws and reposition them to align properly, keeping them in place using small plates and screws.
You will spend the next few months healing, and you will gradually notice improved eating, speaking, and breathing abilities. We will provide you with post-operative instructions before recovery — these will ensure your recovery is quick and comfortable.