Common Questions

Following is a list of the most common questions I’ve received about double jaw surgery. If your question is not answered below, feel free to ask about it in the comments and I’d be happy to respond there.

Before the surgery:

After the surgery:

Cries for help:


Why should I get jaw surgery?

There are several reasons to undergo jaw surgery:

  • To be able to chew with all your teeth
  • To speak without a lisp
  • To speak without spitting
  • To stop your mouth from hanging open
  • To stop breathing through your mouth and start breathing through your nose
  • To change your appearance (side profile)

These reasons are all explained on the Reasons to Get Jaw Surgery page.

Is jaw surgery painful?

Jaw surgery is usually not painful. This may be difficult to believe, but since your nerves become bruised and numb during the surgery, you don’t actually feel any of the pain. By the time feeling returns to your face, most of the pain is gone.

Granted, you’ll experience a bit of pain when you yawn, sneeze and cough. It’ll also hurt when your jaw spasms (and it will spasm for the first month), but for the most part, you should not experience much pain at all.

How long does it take to recover from jaw surgery?

It will take 90 days (3 months) for a full recovery after jaw surgery. Most of your feeling and energy will be back after 2 months, but it takes a full 90 days for your bone to fuse back together. A full range of motion in your jaw will return depending on how much you’re moving it around, so make sure you follow the exercises your surgeon gives you.

How much does jaw surgery cost?

Jaw surgery costs roughly $5000 in Canada, but that price may differ significantly in other provinces and countries. If your surgery is deemed cosmetic (instead of “medically necessary”), the cost will be higher because you’ll be required to cover the hospital bills. Sadly, patients in the US have seen jaw surgery bills in excess of $50,000.

What should I buy to prepare for recovery?

You can find a full list of items that with help you through the recovery at the Must-Have Recovery Products page.


Will I look different after jaw surgery?

You will notice subtle changes in your appearance following jaw surgery. Your overbite/underbite will no longer be present and your cheeks, nose, and chin may take on a different shape as well. My cheeks filled out a lot as a result of my surgery.

How much weight will I lose after jaw surgery?

Most people lose between 5–10 pounds during the first month of their recovery. The general rule of thumb is that you will lose weight until you reach your natural body weight.

Will I experience numbness after jaw surgery?

Yes, you will experience extreme numbness following jaw surgery. During the operation, several nerves in your face and chin have to be moved around. When you move a nerve, it becomes bruised, and when a nerve is bruised, it stops providing sensations, thus giving you that numb feeling (more on this in my Day 20 post).

Will I get all of my feeling back after jaw surgery?

70% of patients regain full feeling, while 30% may experience slightly numb areas in their cheeks, chin and lower lip for the rest of their lives. The feeling you have after 6 months post-op is likely what you’ll live with for the rest of your life.

What can I eat after jaw surgery?

You’ll be on a strict liquid diet following jaw surgery. Buy lots of Boost, Ensure or Carnation supplements and learn to make smoothies, because these will be your staple foods for at least the first 2 weeks. I had to eat them for 8 weeks, but my surgery was a bit more invasive than most. You’ll probably have to administer your food through a syringe for the first week as well.

Once your surgeon gives you permission to start chewing again, you can begin to eat soft foods such as pasta and mashed potatoes. During the weeks following your re-entry into the realm of chewing, you’ll be able to eat whatever is comfortable. Don’t expect to tear into a steak as soon as you’re allowed to chew again, though.

If you have the following implements, you should survive perfectly fine:

  • A reliable blender (this is extremely important, as you’ll be blending almost everything)
  • Smoothie materials (ice cream, yogurt, milk, bananas, strawberries, granola, peanut butter, honey, etc.) — Recipe
  • Soup (you’ll have to blend everything except tomato soup)
  • Ensure, Boost or Carnation (I drank 3 of these per day during my liquid diet phase)
  • Prune juice (you’ll need the fiber in it)
  • Whole milk (you’ll need all the calcium you can get so your bones heal back just as strong as they were before)
  • Water (make sure you drink at least 1 L of water per day; drinking 2 L per day is a much better option)

The most important item on that list is water. If you don’t drink enough water each day, you’ll become dehydrated and sick, and your bowel movements won’t feel good because none of the fiber you’re eating will dissolve into your body.


Help, I’m experiencing pain!

If your pain is chronic (ie. consistent and throbbing), you may have an infection and should schedule a visit with your surgeon just to be safe.

On the other hand, if your pain comes in small bouts, it’s likely your nerves reawakening or your teeth being pulled by the elastics. In this case, just be patient and the pain will subside in due time. If you were prescribed pain medication, that may help as well.

Help, my breath is terrible!

At times, your breath may be indicative of the fact that you are not allowed to brush your teeth or floss during the first several weeks of recovery. To aid in freshening your breath, try gurgling with warm salt water a few times each day. Soon enough, you’ll be given the go-ahead to brush and floss again.

Help, my teeth are no longer touching!

An open bite is a common problem following jaw surgery. Fear not, however, because your teeth will naturally grow until they encounter opposition (in the form of your other jaw), so this problem will slowly correct itself over time.

Help, my jaw movement is not returning!

If you have been given the green light to resume eating regular food, but the movement in your jaw doesn’t seem to be returning, try whistling and chewing gum each day. Whistling will help to break up scar tissue, while chewing gum will stretch the muscles in your jaw.

Help, I don’t look like myself anymore!

This is perhaps the most common fear people have following jaw surgery. Remember that swelling takes a minimum of 3 months to go away, so try to avoid judging your appearance until that point.

Also, keep in mind that you are your own worst critic because you’ve been seeing your face in the mirror every single day for most of your life. While the subtle changes in your appearance seem drastic to you, most people will not even notice that your face changed shape.

Want to connect with other jaw heroes?

Recovering from jaw surgery can be lonely. That's why many of us hang out in a Facebook group where we support each other leading up to surgery and during recovery. There are hundreds of people from all over the world chatting right now and it's free to join.

Join the Facebook group

(example of a recent conversation)

1200 Comments

  1. Nini, you must give yourself more than a week to assess your “new face.” For two weeks post surgery my daughter looked funky. Her nost was really swollen as was the rest of her face. I wish I could show you a picture. It takes up to 6 months for all the swelling to dissipate. She is now 8 weeks post surgery and still has swelling but it’s a lot less noticeable and her nose is almost back to normal. She had double jaw surgery so her nose is tipped up a tad but she doesn’t mind. From the side everything looks perfectly aligned. Surgery was emotional though and that is probably what you are experiencing. Hang in there and try to be patient. It sounds as if your surgeon did not warn you about the swelling.

    • Thanks Sharon. He did tell me about swelling but i didn’t think it would make me look different. Its hard to explain cos the swelling is all even it doesn’t look like swelling so I’m thinking its not that swollen. like i thought by swelling it would mean puffy face but it feels more like just weird face and fat nose. I feel so much better today after the encouraging words. thanks

      • Hey nini, I’m 4 weeks post op now and look very different from the first and second week. I didn’t get back to school until 2 weeks and I still looked weird because I had a lot of swelling. But that’s normal. I hated my face the first 3 weeks. But it does get better everyday! Most of my swelling is down now expect for my nose and lips. My nose is a lot bigger than before but I do see it going down everyday and the surgeon said that its normal. Don’t worry abt the way you look now because it changes drastically! I looked like a chipmunk for abt the first 2 weeks. And I’ve read a lot of blogs where people said they’re nose got bigger from the swelling but eventually went down. Good luck!

        • Donna thats great to hear. honestly hearing of others telling me that it will get better has made me worry a bit less. I was so scared, I thought my life is ruined and why the heck did I do this. I guess I am judging way too early. good luck with the rest of your recovery. thanks

  2. hi again, like i said i had surgery on february 5th a few days ago there were lot of acne on my back more or less like a white head ,now i am seeing small rashes kinda thing coming up on my faces which is comparitively very small and looks like the on that comes after the shave! Is there anything to be worried about is this common has anyone had these kinda acne please do let me know!!!!!!
    thank you waiting for your reply!

    • Hi James I had surgery on 12/9/15 and I also develop acne like pimples all over my face, neck and chest 😔 in till this point I still have them it’s getting better but it was really bad at the beginning 😭 and I’m 2 months… I went to 3 diffrent doctors and they all had there opinion which was very frustrating … 1 told me that I was probably having an allergic reaction to a medicine or food so he told me to take benadryl and that didn’t work lol so finally I went to a dermatologist and he told me it was acne and it was because I been consuming to much milk??? I said ok … well he gave me clindamycin lotion for my face and it’s been working very slowly 😩 so sorry hope you find a better answer because I feel I didn’t 😢 I think is the stress from the surgery but who knows lol

    • I agree with Rachel, I had them too around my mouth and chin. I’ve read that’s it’s common on other jaw blogs, i was on roaccutane before surgery so used a vitamin A cream which my dermatologist prescribed, it went away in a few days anow nothing again. Im sure it will go away soon.

      • My teenage daughter had a pretty bad breakout about 4 weeks post surgery and we think it was a combination of a ton of dairy and her heavy use of aquaphor around her mouth and nose. It took about 3 weeks to clear up.

  3. Thanks alot awesome place to be when you are in the 3rd week of postop!
    Hope everyone is enjoying the post op liquid and enjoying the amount of speaking !
    Happy recovery days ! Get well soon everyone!!!!!!

    • James, it’s awesome to see your enthusiasm! I remember how exciting it was when I could finally speak understandably again… small victories!

      • hi, I has upper jaw surgery to remove gummy smile and chin moved forward a week ago and I’m freaking out. I look like a completely different person. my nose is changed, not for the better and my face looks all squashed up. my chin looks weird. I’m so depressed. I want to die. I talked to my surgeon yesterday who said i was just being negative and its just swelling but i can tell its more than that. it seems woking at other peoples swelling, it looks like swelling but they still look the same just swollen. my face, chin and nose has changed. I don’t know what to do. i feel I this will ruin my life. I simply will not be able to deal with looking like this. I cant believe i did this and now I’m stuck recovering and hugely regretful. and It not just me who is noticing it. my mum, boyfriend and sister who are tho only ones I’ve let see me say i look so different to. I told them to be honest and they said its not for the better but i think they are convincing themselves its just swelling too. Has anyone felt like this and what did they do. can i get it reversed?

        • Nini it is not a easy task to undergo surgery
          U did it for better look and give up with in one
          Week .u can t expect result so early. Ask me what
          goes on parents not only my daughter who is 19
          all of us were very much regretful why we allowed her to undergo this ,I used to weep and cry in washrooms.but reallythings get better as days passes.swelling will definitely go away strictly follow ur surgeon s advice. Take healthy
          Food, stay with family ,develop some hobbies be positive.
          For ur nose u just push and shape it straight do it as a much
          as possible.even after two month post op my daughter feels very bad sometimes but hope things will get better take
          graham s advice who is an angel (for male god what u call
          I don’t no)good luck

          • thanks for you kind words Jyothi, I’m praying to god it just the swelling but I’m not happy with the results. I don’t look like myself. i feel like i have made the biggest mistake. i will pray that when the swelling goes down and I start to recognise the person i see in the mirror. You mentioned your daughter is still not happy with her nose, so are you saying jaw surgery changed her nose? that is my worry. if its not swelling it has changed. i am not happy to have my nose change. especially when it is not for the better. I was never told that would happen. my doctor told me i would look the same but wit out the gumminess. he said it would be hardly noticeable to others. but i feel like my whole face has changed.

        • Hey I went through a similar thing. Im 7 weeks post op. the first few weeks i was so depressed. not to sound shallow, but i was happy with how i looked before the surgery. after the surgery, i was so swollen i didnt even recognize myself. i would look in the mirror and see someone else. i was afraid that i was stuck with that face forever but as the weeks went by, my swelling went down. by week 6 most of it was gone. i still have some left but it’s basically only me and my doctors who can tell and those who are close to me but even then, they only notice when i point it out to them. my nose changed a bit but i can tell it’s part of the swelling so im gonna wait and see if it’s a permanent change but it’s not really noticeable. just be patient. the recovery is very long but it’ll be worth it! you’ll look back and think “wow i cant believe i got through all that” haha. i still have a lot of recovering to do but it amazes me that i made through 7 weeks. good luck! <3

          • ML thanks so much for that message, I now feel a bit better knowing that I’m not alone in how I feel. I felt the same I was quite happy with how I looked before but the problem was with the gummy smile. my upper jaw was too big and i was unable to close my mouth properly. I thought it would just take bit off that and the rest of me would remain the same but he said my chin needed to be advanced too as I had a weak chin. but now I hate everything. I don’t know how I’m going to face the world but if you say you felt better after a few weeks It gives me hope. I hadn’t planned on telling every person I meet, but now all i can think is everyone will know right away and wonder what the hell I did to my face. Im so scared. thanks again.

        • Hi Nini I also had double surgery on dec 2015 so I’m about 11 weeks post op and let me tell you it’s been a rollercoster of emotions 😔 I also did not like the way I looked at the beginning, I cried and cried and now I’m just accepting things as it is! I also look very diffrent my nose is still very wide and my face still feels very stiff … But I hear that after 6 months however you look that’s going to be the new you so I’m hoping that me face changes In the months ahead of me… So give your self some time, I’m going to do the same… Let’s just keep thinking positive because we still have more to recover😊 take care

          • Thanks Rachel, I will try to stay positive. I saw my dentist today and when she said I looked great, I burst out in tears. she calmed me down and told me of course I was going to look different because I’m so swollen and the swelling is even that it may appear that my features have changed but its just the swelling. she said there is no way that my nose will stay like that so I’m hopeful she is right. since you are 11 weeks and your nose is still wide you must still have swelling. fingers crossed. I never knew the swelling could last so long. I hope you nose goes back to how it was and you will be happy report back and be happy with your results. I am at least happy to hear you were so unhappy in the beginning but you are ok now. it give me hope. I mean the whole reason we all are going through this is to ultimately look and feel better so lets all hope that is the case or else what was the whole point!!!

        • Good morning Nini! I was really happy to hear that you are feeling better 😁 I think we both are going to be just fine! I was just telling my mom that even do there minor changes in my face I been looking at this face for 35 years so yeah you do feel weird at the beginning 😝 but as the weeks go by and my swelling has gone down I’m starting to look more like my self 😊 my oral surgeon did mention that your nose does get wider with upper surgery but I still have in till the 6 month mark to see if the reminder swelling would make a diffrence… So I’m still hopeful ☺️☺️ If not I’m going to wait for 1 year and see if I could get comftrouble with my new nose and take it from there! I’m wishing you a good recovery 😘

          • Thats great Rachel. I’m the same age so I agree its so long to be looking a face and to have it change is shocking. My surgeon never mentioned anything about the nose. I really would of reconsidered if I had known. Is it only you who notices it now or has other people? cos the way mine is now its very obviously different. I guess if it was just a tiny bit different like MR mentioned I could handle it. but not how it is now lol

        • Hi Nini I’m so happy to find someone my age going trough this 😁 my mom and husband don’t see the change in me lol they did tell me I looked weird druing the first week but it was because all the swelling and now they think I look more like my self😊 now my sister she was more vocal about it and told me that I looked very diffrent 😔 and was looking at me very weird which made me feel like s***t, she is the only one that mention my nose being wide 😭 I go back to work on Monday and I’ll see what they tell me, I’ll keep you posted 😨 I took almost 3 months off because on top of the surgery I was not able to eat soft foods in till the 2 month do to the limit opening of my mouth and I also develop a acne/rash all over my face 😭 which was very itchy and I was having very bad jaw spasms at night which gave me really bad ear aches so yeah it has not been a walk in the park with this surgery but now it’s getting better… Wish me luck 😊

          • Wow that has been hard for you. I only took 2 weeks off but now I’m regretting it. I may take more time off if I still look like this. lol
            I have a sister too and I can rely on her to be brutally honest too!!! but it is probably not that bad if your mum and husband can notice. See how you get on in work. sending positive vibes your way.
            my email is ninicos1@gmail.com if you would like to email me. It really helps me knowing that I’m not alone in this too. Thanks and the best of luck for Monday

        • Nini! I’m going to email you some before and after pictures so you could see the progress and thank you for your support 😘

        • Hi Nini I send you some pictures on your personal email hopefuly that helps ease your mind a little as your face recovers from this major surgery … Take care and sorry for the 1st picture I’m a inner fan lol since I’m from the Bay Area in California 😁

        • nini,

          I understand exactly how you feel. I am 4 weeks post-op and hate how I look. I want to cover all the mirrors in my house so I don’t have to ever look at myself. This has been much more emotionally demanding than I anticipated!

          • Hey Amy, Oh that hard to hear, so sorry you are not happy still. What did you have done? It is extremely emotionally demanding and when you hate how you look, I mean its our faces so its scary. Have you talked to your surgeon?

          • The big thing I’m doing right now is just trying to stay calm. I go back to my surgeon in 10 days so I’ll bring it up again but in the meantime I just keep trying to remind myself that it has only been 4 weeks and I’m still healing. Just hard to accept after 41 years of seeing the same face in the mirror and now suddenly seeing a new one! I also try and focus on the good things like the 14 pound weight loss!!

  4. Hi,
    I had my surgery(cross bite correction) on 5th of feb! went quite well! All my swelling has gone down totally i am on liquid food from past 16 days! My question is when can i actually start eating food which i used to eat ,or atleast get this wires of my mouth so that i can start having semi solid food! Please do let me know!
    Thankyu hoping to get your reply soon!

    • I started eating bread (jam sandwiches) about 4 weeks after my op. At first it’s really difficult to chew and it might be easier to sit in front of a mirror when you first try chewing.
      If you have wires or bands on which can’t be removed then you should probably wait till your surgeon says you can. If you have removable bands then you will find it easier to eat without them in.

  5. I’m 4 months post double jaw surgery, now had my braces removed.

    I have really sensitive teeth, especially my 2 front teeth. Is this normal?.
    I’m using sensitive toothpaste but it doesn’t seem to be working. My gums are still numb so I’m guessing it’s the feeling coming back?. Sometimes it feels like my 2 front teeth are moving (when clearly they are not!).

    Anyone else had this after surgery and after braces removed?…

    • Hi FlamesJaw, if your gums are still numb, I would attribute the sensitivity to that. As your nerves heal, it’s quite common to experience sensations that both feel weird and seem to be in illogical places. However, I am not a doctor, so there’s no harm in calling your surgeon or orthodontist to ask them if any other patients have mentioned something similar. I’d be interested to hear what you find out as well, so please let me know. 😊

  6. My name is Shell and I have just had lower Jaw Surgery and a chin augmentation done on Thursday 18-2-16 so today I am on day 4 of post op. What an awesome page to read what you guys and girls have all gone through. I don’t feel alone in my recovery.
    I’m very swollen and I’m numb from my bottom lip to under my chin and a little on my neck. I have started feeling like a twitching sensation under my bottom lip and on my chin it feels sometimes a little sore but more a weird feeling than anything else.
    I haven’t been sleeping at all a few hours hear and there but nothing constant.
    What I really can’t stand is feeling nauseas its the worst feeling.
    I can’t wait to get through the first week and hope some swelling has gone down.
    I have my first appointment on the 25-2-16 to take bands of and put in splint and more bands. I’m hoping its not going to be painful when surgeon does that.
    Has anyone found that painful at all???

    • Hi Shell, so glad you found us here! That twitching sensation, while uncomfortable, is good news because it means your nerves are already beginning to heal. As for having your bands replaced and a splint put in, that should be painless. Make sure to put some Vaseline on your lips before your appointment so they don’t crack when your surgeon opens your mouth. You may also want to try laying down with a heat pack on your face for about 30 minutes before your appointment to soothe your nerves. Good luck on Thursday!

      • The same with me and twitching though it twitches more often then I would like because it causes some pain. I would like to know what you did if you had a runny nose I had my surgery on the 18th of February and I can’t sleep at all because of my runny/stuffy nose and every time I use the spray the stuffy/runny nose comes back right away.

        • Hi Elaine, I recall dealing with this problem during the early days of recovery as well. Unfortunately, the only solution I found was to suffer through it with a box of tissues by my side at all times. To ease the discomfort a bit, you can try rubbing anything with menthol in it on your upper lip as that may help clear up some of your congestion. Hope this helps!

          • Hi again your advice has helped a lot and I can breath a lot better now. My question this time is the methyIPREDNISolone they prescribed for me will I have to take that everyday until I go back for the 1 week appointment or can I stop after the first 5 days? Because to be honest having to crush the pill and put it in any kind of drink is unbearable in taste.

          • Elaine, while I have never heard of methylprednisolone, the Internet tells me it is used as an anti-inflammatory, so I would recommend continuing to take it until at least your first follow-up appointment.

            That being said, you will be okay as long as you take your antibiotic. Everything else is likely more for your own comfort then anything else.

        • Hi Elaine
          I don’t like the twitching feeling sometimes mine hurts other times it doesn’t.
          My nose sometimes just starts running for no reason at all its quite annoying.
          Michelle

      • Hi Graham

        That is such a relief to hear I was starting to worry what the twitching was.
        Tomorrow I am having new bands replaced and getting my splint in I do hope that my teeth will not be banded tight again and these bands are a little more flexible.
        My biggest thing at the moment is the sleepless nights. My legs get very very restless and have tried warm baths and massaging them but still not helping.
        What is better to use a heat pack or ice pack do you think?
        I’m really over eating through the syringes so I have been using little medicine cups to drink out off. Hope that does not affect my jaw at all.
        Thanks for your reply

        • Hi Shell, the sleepless nights are certainly frustrating, but I assure you that it won’t be much longer before you can comfortably sleep through the night. I recall that feeling of restlessness being somewhat similar to “growing pains” as a child. I’m not sure of any remedies for this, unfortunately. You may want to try approaching it from another angle and going for several walks each day to exercise your legs. This might make it easier to relax and fall asleep at night.

          As for ice packs or heat packs, I was told to use heat packs exclusively once I was out of the hospital, so I would recommend that. Hope this helps!

    • Keep on top of your pain meds, disolveable paracetamol 4 times a day and ibuprofen in between (3 times a day).

      Yeah, I had pain too but after taking pain meds I was ok. (4 months post op today).

  7. Bee here… so today (technically yesterday now) was my 10th day postopt so I went to go see my surgeon and get my splint removed. Let me tell you, once they removed the wires and splint, it felt ridiculously AMAZING to be able to brush my teeth and rinse off my mouth properly!!! I brushed and rinsed and brushed and rinsed again for like 15 mins, no even joking!
    My surgeon was actually extremely surprised at my appearance because if you didn’t know me well before you would think my face right now is my normal face because I have such little swelling left (I though can tell I’m still swollen in some areas). Also, I got absolutely no bruising…

    It felt super weird to talk at first but I hung out with my friend and we caught up and I did a lot of talking so it got easier and started to feel less weird by the end of our conversation though I think I had overdone it because my jaw started hurting not a lot or anything sharp just kind of like the feeling you get when you smile too much and your cheeks start to hurt, like that.

    Eating was exciting! I was slightly frustrated when I found that i had to take small spoonfuls though because I can’t open my mouth wide enoughto fit a whole spoon in there and I’m of course on a soft food only diet but I’m loving it! Tonight I had some steamed rice and it tasted better than I remembered.!

    There is light at the end of the tunnel!! 😄

    • Hi Bee, so good to hear that you are already splint-free! I remember how incredible it felt to brush and floss for the first time since surgery. Isn’t oral hygiene a wonderful thing? 😄

      I also remember the ups and downs of speaking again. You want to talk so badly, but you know it’s going to hurt later that night. Overall, talking is probably a good thing because it is exercising the muscles in your face, so you’ll get your full range of motion back a bit more quickly. As with everything in this surgery, though, let your pain be your guide. Enjoy your newfound freedom!

  8. Thank God you are all here. My family and friend have been wonderful but they don’t really get it. I’m exactly 3 weeks post op and went back to work today. Big mistake. I lasted half a day and did way too much talking. I think I’ll rest another couple of days and give it another go.

    The whole healing process has been much harder than I was expecting because my nerves started firing again before I was even discharged from the hospital. My surgeon was thrilled because this likely means my nerves are very healthy and I should get full feeling back but holy Hannah it has been painful!

    Wishing everyone continued improvement.

    • Hi Amy, your nerves waking up is definitely a love-hate thing. It’s awesome news because, as your surgeon said, it means they are healing. But with that healing comes pain because, well, you can actually feel the trauma from the surgery. Overall, I promise it’s a positive thing.

      Hope your energy levels improve over the next few days. Who knew work could be so exhausting, right? 😄

  9. Hi Graham,

    I had my double jaw surgery on Jan 13, 2016 and it was a success! I currently have some swelling by the nose/cheek area, and my lips and chin are completely numb. I am considering on getting a MLD massage (manual lymphatic drainage) massage for the swelling. Any one every have one these done for their double jaw surgery and is it worth it?

  10. Hi Graham,
    I’m now almost 11 weeks post-op after double jaw surgery and your website has been absolutely amazing. The timeline gave me milestones to look forward to during the recovery process even when they were as small as the constant drool finally stopping. It also gives me something to look back on to see how far I have come. I can’t believe I lived for two weeks drinking only out of a syringe with as little as 2 hours of sleep a night! I had the strangest experience today though the teeth on only one side of my mouth were throbbing. It felt a little bit like how it feels after getting your braces tightened only so much sharper and painful. I took some Aleve and a shower and it finally went away after about 5 hours. I’m thinking maybe it was a nerve that’s finally getting feeling back but I’m not entirely sure if this is something I should be concerned about. Also how long after your surgery did you get your braces off. My orthodontist made the appointment for March 21st which would be about 16 weeks post op but he says theres always a chance he might change his mind. If this gives you any perspective I healed a lot faster than anyone expected I was able to chew just about anything around 6 weeks and most of my swelling was gone at that point too. Thanks again you are such an inspiration!
    Christine

    • Hi Christine, I’m happy to hear the blog provided some comfort during your recovery. It is a bit crazy to look back and realize that you ate with a syringe for a few weeks. In fact, it’s crazy about facial reconstruction in general!

      I imagine the throbbing you felt was due to a nerve acting up. If it hasn’t happened again, I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. Your nerves should be fully healed after 4 months, so those random bouts of pain should stop completely.

      As for braces, I had my surgery in March and my braces removed in December. It seems most orthodontists like to keep braces on for 6–12 months following surgery so they can close the surgical gaps properly.

      Hope this helps!

      • Hi Graham!! It’s me Rachel I have a few questions… I’m 9 weeks post op and my face feels very tight! Is that normal and when does it start feeling normal again? And I notice my sense of smell decreasing, is that normal? I told my surgeon regarding my smell but he didn’t have a answer for why that was happening 😩

        • Hi Rachel! It’s normal for your face to feel tight (or abnormal in any way, really) until about 4 months have passed. One thing you can do to help with this is to actively break up the scar tissue in your face and the way to do that is by whistling a few times each day. It sounds weird, but it actually works.

          As for your sense of smell decreasing, I honestly have no clue why you might be experiencing that. I can’t think of any part of this surgery that would affect your sense of smell. If you figure anything out, I’d be interested to hear about it, though! 😊

          • Hello Graham so I went yesterday to my oral surgeon he mention that he only had one other patient that had the same problem with her taste and smell but he didn’t know why that happen 😔 the good news is that patient gain back her sense of smell and tast after a few months so I’m hopefull that happens to me too 😁 oh and thank you for your advice I’m trying to chew gum but is very hard and it hurts a little so I’ll just try the whistling instead lol

          • Rachel, so good to hear that your surgeon has come across that problem before! Ah, the sweet joy of knowing you’re not the first one, right? Hopefully your senses are fully restored soon.

            P.S. Thank you so much for helping people along through the comments here. It brings a smile to my face when I wake up each morning and see that I’m not the only one here! 😄

          • Your welcome Graham! Thank you for also making this blog it has help me and other people with our recovery! Today I felt good sharing some of my personal pictures to someone that was feeling the same way as I was and hopefuly I got her to keep thinking positive, because I know how hard this recovery has been and it continues to be, but there is a light at the end of all of this 😁

  11. Sarah,Bee and Zac what u all need is ur family support. Stay with ur family and relatives who can morally help . Secondly don’t get panic relax and rest as much as possible it is all common to have swelling upto 5th week that gradually goes down.try some Indian recipes with rice and lentils cooked mixed vegetables lot of milk fruits to stay fit.my daughter is on 7th week still with little swelling. After one month u can start chewing smooth dishes like pancakes noodles etc follow exercises good luck

  12. Hi Graham,

    What a great web site !!
    Thank you

  13. My nose is constantly dripping blood, not alot of blood but its almost like a runny nose but only on one side? Should i be concerned or is this normal?

    • Hi Zac, I had a lot of fluids from my nose including quite a lot of blood for the first 2 weeks. I was congested though so not so much dripping blood. If it’s darker blood then it’s older blood therefore it’s likely drainage if it’s bright red it’s new and there’s fresh bleeding which I would certainly get checked.

  14. Does anybody know when the swelling will start going down? I know that day 5 is suppose to be the worse but will it start going down after that?

    • Hi Bee, as far as I can remember, day 3 is when the swelling peaks. It will remain constant for a few days after that, but you should notice it beginning to go away by the end of your 2nd week. However, it will take about 2 full months before you begin to look “normal” again and it can take up to 4 months for residual swelling to disappear. So patience is the key here. 😊

  15. Hello all. I had my surgery last Friday (5th February) and thought I would give my story to you all. I had lower jaw surgery as my jaw was a little too far over to the right. It wasn’t really that noticeable but it used to cause me awful TMJ pain which included neck and headaches almost every day. I also didn’t like the way it looked physically.

    Anyway, I had a follow up appointment yesterday, (so 6 days after op) and my surgeon told me that he’s very pleased with how I’m healing as I’m not as swollen as he expected which was good news! He removed the very tight bands that were holding my jaw shut and replaced them with slightly looser ones. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to or not, but I’ve been opening up about a cm, enough to get a fork in so that I can eat couscous, scrambled eggs etc. I’m not sure if this is bad or not? I’m not chewing the food at all, I’m just opening up enough to get it inside my mouth and then clamping shut again. I’m just so sick of the soups and shakes straining through my teeth every day, plus I was getting bad sickness feelings everyday. I’m only a size 8 anyway and I’m worried I was getting malnourished as I felt constantly light headed and weak!

    Does anyone know if me doing this, would be causing any damage to my jaw or not?

    Thanks in advance!

    Sarah

    • That was such a quick appointment! I only had lower jaw surgery too but my follow up isn’t until next Thursday!! I hope I’ll be able to eat then too I don’t have to chew but at least mashed potatoes or something other than liquids I was never a huge juice person and I’m already tired of milkshakes so I can’t wait to get to the point you’re at!!
      Especially because I also think I’m not getting all the nutrients I need at ALL. And I’m constantly nauseous and have a headache throughout the day …

      • Yeh me too! I’m getting really sore pain at the back of my neck and head too, and it feels swollen. My swelling has started to go down already, I’m not as big as I was and its 1 week, 1 day post op. Has yours not gone down at all? And do you have bruising?

        • Hey Sarah!
          I got my mouth unwired yesterday and I only have residual swelling, not even noticeable if you never saw me before!
          And I actually didn’t bruise at all! On the 3rd day postopt I had tiny yellow marks on my jar but they’re gone now and no new ones have come up at all.
          I don’t know if it’s the excitement of it all or maybe that now i have more nutrients in my stomach but the nausea is completely gone I almost feel like I did before I even got the surgery…
          The only thing right now really is that after i talk a lot my jaw has this sort of spasm and it like moves a little but quickly goes back to where it’s supposed to be, kind of like a twitch? It hurts too but not a lot at all.
          Hope your recovery is going good😊

    • Hi Sarah, I’m happy to hear you are healing up so quickly! With regards to opening your mouth, the general rule is to let your pain be your guide. If opening your mouth is hurting, don’t do it. However, if you can open your mouth to get soft foods in and there is no pain involved, it’s probably okay. Just be very slow and gentle when chewing because your bone is still being help together by plates and screws, so if you jar your jaw by biting down to hard, it could cause complications. Enjoy the scrambled eggs!

      • Thanks graham! I’m not getting any pain in doing so, it just aches a little on one side afterwards. I’m not chewing the food at all, I’m just opening up to get the fork in, and then closing it. I’m using my tongue to mush it up enough to swallow! (Err!) so happy to have found this forum! It’s great to talk to people who are going through the same thing at the same time! 😀

  16. I’m 4 days post opt can I just say… why didn’t anybody tell me how painful sneezing would be?!!! AVOID SNEEZING AT ALL COSTS!! 😢
    I’m still swollen, I’m tired of it
    I’m still numb… I’ve regained some feeling almost everywhere except my chin and lower lip…
    I’m still wired shut so so tired of it I want pizza😭
    And starting on Wednesday I began to get suoer nauseous and now I can’t really sleep at night because I feel like I’m going to throw up…
    Keep in mind though that I don’t regret the surgery at all! It’s just a bit harder to deal with everything a few days in 😞

    • Hi bee!
      I’m very excited to have found someone that’s at the same stage as me nearly! Have a read of my story above, it’d be nice to exchange our feelings on this! Hang in there! 🙂

    • Hang in there bee, im 4 days post op aswell! Its horrible ino exactly how you feel but its all worth it 🙂 if i start feeling down i just look at my new bite. Its rough not being able to eat but imagine when u get to eat something for the first time afterwards

    • Hi Bee I am 4 days post op today and it’s been pretty miserable! I was not prepared for how much swelling there would be that’s for sure. I am hoping that it starts to get better soon so I can start to feel a little normal. I have a bite plate in and completely wired shut so if the swelling would go away it may help a little. Hopefully you are feeling like your old self by now!

  17. Hi Graham,

    I did my double jaw surgery as well and currently I am almost at two months post-op. Right now the numbness arpund the whole lower lip-chin area is not going away and i find it difficult to maintain my speech without slurring. The muscles on my lower lip is really hard to control making my speech really hard to understand.

    Did you encounter the same problem as me? Will this be permanent?

    • Mauricio Bermudez

      February 12, 2016 at 9:16 am

      I am about same, 8 weeks, and I have the numbness around same areas you described: gums, palate, chin, lip. I keep biting myself when I eat. I also have a cold/wet sensation around my chin which is awful. It is frustrating but I was told that most of the numbness will go away in a few months. Hopefully one day I will wake up with none of these problems. Meantime just hang in there

    • Do you know if acunpunture could help with the numbness?

      • Hi Mura, numbness is simply due to nerves being bruised during the surgery, so I believe this is more a question of giving them time to heal than anything else. That being said, I’ve never had acupuncture, so I cannot speak to whether that is helpful or not.

    • Hi Brian, most people notice their feeling beginning to return during the second month of recovery, but it can take up to 4–6 months for it all to return, so I encourage you to forego worrying for a couple more months.

      I have permanent numbness in about half of my lower lip and chin and it does not affect my speech or smile. Even if you are left with a permanent lack of feeling, your body will quickly adjust and it should not negatively impact your life in any noticeable way.

      For the record, I’ve been told that approximately 30% of patients are left with small areas of permanent numbness, so the odds are in your favor. 😊

  18. I am 5 weeks post op and recently my teeth (especially the bottom ones) are very sensitive and sore. I thought it was just the bands and braces but I am no longer using rubber bands and it hasnt gotten better. Is this normal and just a sign of my gums regaining feeling?
    Also, I keep chewing into my cheek, as if my teeth aren’t centered inside my mouth.

    • The gums discomfort might be related to possible inflammation of the gums; I was in the same place at week 7 and was told to use a water pick to clean/rinse the gums as best possible. If it gets to painful use lidocaine mouth solution to numb your mouth. It is related to the braces as well. I found myself much better after a 5 minutes clean session with the water pick.

  19. Hi Zac, it’s common to have numbness in the chin, lips etc. most will return but it will take a while. It’s the last bit to heal as I believe from other blogs and my surgeon. I’m 5 weeks post op moving my jaws forward and I’m still very numb on the chin and lower lip. Don’t forget the lip balm though as the lips will crack, you can feel this strangely even though you can’t feel the lip. The eating and drinking gets easier even though you can’t feel the mouth properly you’ll adapt. Hope you feel better soon and remember the hardest part is done !!

  20. Hey guys zac here again
    Had my double jaw surgery yesterday and im suffering from alot if numbness, is this common to have half my face numb? And how long will it last

    • Hi Zac, welcome to the other side! It is perfectly normal to be numb for about 2 months following your surgery. Some of your feeling may begin to return after about 3 or 4 weeks as your nerves heal up. 😊

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