Jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a procedure that corrects irregularities in the jawbone, bite and jaw alignment.
The prospect of surgery can be daunting, but in most cases having the surgery is well worth the years of well-aligned jaws, painless chewing and a visually appealing jaw line.
Reasons for Jaw Surgery
There are several reasons an oral surgeon might recommend this type of surgery. Some of the top reasons are listed here:
Reduce Headaches. Do you get chronic headaches? Patients with TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) often grind their teeth at night. This can lead to chronic headaches, especially first thing in the morning. Surgery can reduce the amount of nighttime teeth grinding and get rid of morning headaches for good.
Corrects Bite or Alignment Issues. Bad bite, or malocclusion, is when the upper jaw and bottom jaw are out of alignment. This can cause difficulty closing the mouth or chewing foods, sleep disruptions, obstructive sleep apnea, TMJ and more. This type of surgery corrects the bite and alignment and can reduce adverse symptoms.
Pain When Biting and Chewing. TMJ causes serious pain and discomfort when biting and chewing food. Surgery can adjust the alignment of the jaws and lead to reduced levels of pain and discomfort.
Improved Facial Appearance. You can usually tell from outward appearance when a person has an overbite or an underbite. A jaw that is pushed forward can make it look oversized and cause your smile to look awkward. Similarly, when the bottom jaw needs moved forward it can appear that your jaw is underdeveloped with definition lacking between the jaw and the neck. Surgery can drastically improve the appearance of a patient’s profile and smile.
Minimize Wear and Breakdown of Teeth. When the jaw isn’t properly aligned, the molars in the back might touch together while the front teeth don’t meet. This is called an open bite. Over time, pushing the front teeth together wears on the molars and can lead to premature breaking down. Surgery brings the bite together evenly and naturally to minimize excessive wear of your teeth.
Sleep Apnea. One form of jaw surgery, maxillomandibular advancement surgery (MMA), can be effective in treating obstructive sleep apnea. In this surgery, the surgeon repositions the jaw bones to relieve airway obstruction. Not all patients are good candidates for MMA, but your oral surgeon can help decide if the surgery is right for you.
Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here
If you’re having problems with bite alignment, pain from TMJ or obstructive sleep apnea and have been considering jaw surgery, Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can help. Our highly trained, board-certified oral surgeons have extensive experience in a variety of jaw surgeries from the routine to the extreme, and we’d love to help solve your jaw-related problems and well as any other oral health needs you might have.
We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, West Jordan, and Tooele, Utah. Schedule your free consultation today!