5 Reasons You May Need Jaw Surgery
Our patients get jaw surgery, technically called orthognathic surgery, but you may have also heard it referred to as “corrective jaw surgery”, for many different reasons. Sometimes it’s to correct a medical issue, other times it’s for cosmetic purposes. There are several serious problems orthognatic surgery can fix, many of which are more common than you may realize. If you’re having difficulty with your jaw or need to adjust your facial appearance, you may benefit from surgery like this. Here are just a few of the main ways the jaw surgery we provide improves the lives of our patients.
- Makes it Easier to Bite and Chew
We commonly see patients with an upper or lower jaw that significantly protrudes or recedes. This can cause a drastic overbite or underbite and make it very difficult to bite or chew. When the teeth don’t properly align, chewing can not only be problematic and uncomfortable but also can cause premature wear and tear on the teeth. While there is a wide range of degrees to which this condition can affect people, the extreme cases can require corrective jaw surgery.
- Allows Full, Comfortable Lip Closure
The jaw structure of some of our patients creates a gap between their lips when their facial muscles are relaxed. In order to fully close their lips, they must tense the muscles around the mouth. This can be uncomfortable and tiring since these muscles were not designed to be used constantly. When one of our professional jaw surgeons moves their jaw with corrective jaw surgery, the gap is closed and it is possible for the patient to fully close their lips comfortably.
- Fixes Speech or Swallowing Problems
Occasionally, patients come to us with a deformed or small jaw that impacts the functionality of their tongue and makes it difficult to talk and swallow. The tongue needs adequate space to move in order to properly form words and move food around the mouth. These patients need orthognathic surgery to create more space inside their mouths. This makes it easier for their tongues to form sounds and helps them swallow food without choking.
- Correct Facial Trauma or Defects
Injuries to the face can cause the jaw to become misaligned or broken. Some patients have jaw issues are caused by birth defects like a cleft lip or cleft palate. When these issues are left uncorrected, there can be serious problems with oral functions such as:
Additionally, the facial muscles and temporomandibular joint, also called the TMJ, may be affected. Anytime there are TMJ issues, jaw surgery is necessary to prevent intense pain, uncomfortable or embarrassing jaw popping or clicking and premature degeneration of the gums and teeth.
- Remedy Facial Asymmetry
Small chins and bite irregularities can result in cases of severe facial asymmetry where one side of the face looks drastically different than the other. Fixing these problems can require employing orthognathic surgery to reduce or augment the jaw or chin. In some cases, we see patients who need their entire jaw moved to fix their issues. The results of this type of surgery can be impressive and dramatically improve the appearance of the face.
If you suffer from these or other jaw issues that are disfiguring or make it difficult to perform necessary functions like breathing or eating, corrective jaw surgery can make an incredible difference in your quality of life. At Summit OMS, we understand the thought of surgery can be intimidating. Our experienced, professional doctors can help make you as comfortable as possible with whatever procedure you need. Let us help you achieve a healthy, attractive smile you can be proud of. Use our contact form or call one of our convenient locations today to schedule an appointment and take the first step towards getting the jaw you’ve always wanted.