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. Joey Rodriguez

    July 15, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Hey, I’ve read everything everyone has posted on the site, and I’m thoroughly grateful for the this community and the knowledge the community gives. My question/concern is really me just being whiney. I’m 2 days Post-Op from a sagittal split osteotomy (lower jaw surgery to correct overbite). My jaw wasn’t wired shut, but they did use elastics on my surgical hooks that are on my braces to keep my mouth closed and in place. Basically, there are gaps where my molars are because my bottom jaw was moved forward, and when my tongue naturally just rests, it goes through the gaps, and now, being on day 2 post-op, it’s getting quite annoying like my tongue is being cut. I know my tongue will be fine, and that this is the least of my worries in my jaw surgery, but at the moment, it’s the only pain I really have. Did anyone find a solution for this?

  2. Hi everyone,

    I’m nearly at the 5 month mark from my surgery. My face looks pretty normal honestly for the first time. I had thought I would of been normal way earlier than this. However, I occasionally swell underneath my eyes and i have no predictive insight at to how or why. There’s no rhyme or reason, I think it’s due to how I sleep. The previous night. I’m still quasi numb in the lower right part of my face. The nerves are reacting, sometimes I wake up and they are painfully throbbing. It went from completely numb to now registering feeling but still sensitive all in weeks 18-20, so I’m still positive by 6 months all will be well.

    Something that just started occurring which has been odd: my Ortho put braces on all my teeth except my last molars. When I went last she indicated the back molars were moving and she’d get them under control next time I come in. However, now I am starting to feel those molars aggressive movement when I open, talk etc even in my ear. I’m going to go in to try and straighten that out this week and hope that’s all that’s causing the weird feeling and nothing more serious.

    • Mitch, it sounds like you’ve got the right mindset to see this through. I’m honestly not sure what would cause seemingly random swelling under your eyes this far into the recovery, so that would be a question to ask your surgeon. If you figure out what it is, please do share as I’d like to know what causes it.

      It’s also odd that your orthodontist decided to keep your molars out of braces because usually they need to readjust your entire bite together. In any case, I’m sure they’ll manage to correct the placement of your teeth and you should be free of all of this frustration in just a few more months. Hang in there! 😊

  3. Hey everyone, my name is Andy and tomorrow at 10:00 I’ll will be officially 1-week post op jaw surgery! My main concern as of now is that at my four day checkup; my surgeon took off my elastics and told me to brush my teeth. Afterwards he put two back on and told me to take them off to brush twice a day. What I’m worried about is that every time I brush my teeth I bleed a lot and it’s painful because of the stitches being still in my mouth. I don’t want to accidentally pull a stitch out but I also understand the importance for good hygiene. I do use mouthwash. I’ve read that normally you aren’t allowed to brush your teeth for a couple of weeks. Is anyone in the same situation or can give me some advice?

    • Hi Andy, congratulations on getting through week one – in my experience it gets easier from there. I’m at the 8 wk mark now from upper jaw surgery. I didn’t have elastics and was told I could brush from the day after surgery (& use the mouthwash twice a day). I used a little kids toothbrush. They said to mainly focus on the braces themselves if it was easier. I found I could only open up enough to do this at first, then as my lips etc were more movable I’d gently do more of the tooth. I got a long flat tongue scraper that was thin enough to fit through the gap as the furry tongue thing wasn’t so nice! 🙂 in the Uk Boots is good for these. Keep putting cream on your lips as they really go through it as you try and move your mouth more. Hope someone with elastics can add some insight. I have read online that its ok if your stitches bleed a little, but using a really small toothbrush and going v slow might stop them being caught. Wishing you all the best, Mel 🙂

  4. I had my double jaw surgery three years ago, and i still get annoying pain in my jaw in winter. Its nothing compared to the pain during recovery but it is uncomfortable and using a heat pack only helps a bit. Anyone know if this is normal?

    • Nicole, truth be told, I notice a weird feeling in parts of my jaw during really cold weather as well. I’m not sure how to describe it… it’s almost like my jaw sounds and feels like it’s made of styrofoam, if that makes sense. However, it is not painful for me.

      If this has been bothering you for a while, you may want to call your surgeon’s office and ask if any other patients have mentioned this. It might have something to do with the titanium brackets changing temperature. I’m not sure if it’s solvable, but they may have some advice to share.

      Has anyone else experienced pain in your jaw during cold weather?

    • Alicia Glover

      July 9, 2016 at 10:17 pm

      I just had double jaw surgery about 1 1/2 weeks ago. My front bottom teeth have an aching, sort of throbbing pain. Is this something you guys experience? It’s no unbearable per say, but more annoying.

      • Alicia, the pain you mention could be due to a number of different things, but it’s not uncommon. For example, my teeth hurt a bit during the first few weeks because they were rubbing on my splint.

        If you have a 2-week check-up appointment with your surgeon, I recommend taking pain medication to get through the next few days and asking your surgeon about this pain at your appointment. If your appointment is later, I recommend calling your surgeon’s office to ask about it now as continuous throbbing pain could indicate an infection. Hope this helps! 😊

        • Alicia Glover

          July 10, 2016 at 8:11 am

          Thank you for your help! Infection is a word that ive dreaded hearing. I do have an appointment coming up so I will manage with pain meds. Hopefully is just because I’ve regained feeling faster than most and my nerves are doing their thing. I hv stitches in the area and i looked at them, they are not swollen or red so I’m hoping and praying infection is not on the radar. Again thank you for your response!!! Have a wonderful day

  5. Help! I think my surgeon told me to get off the ice too soon!
    I’m 17yrs old, and just had a 6hr double jaw surgery yesterday at 8am. However, at day 1, I’m already 1.5x as swollen as most ppl are on their peak day! I could barely get my meds down I was crying so hard from the pain! The doctors told me I could stop the ice b4 I left the hospital, and I did, but I put myself back on it out of sheer dispair. Does anyone else have this problem of excessive swelling right off the bat? I have 2 more days before I reach the peak of my swelling, and I don’t know if I can handle it!!!!

    • Hi Julia, I read quite a few sites when I had swelling (although mine wasn’t excessive bless you). The main advice tends to be ice on for 20 mins then leave for 20 mins. You have to be careful not to get ice burns and apparently this only helps in the 48 hrs after your operation. Some sites then suggest warm heat from a heated wash cloth for example. Make sure you are propped up in bed (I had 2 big standard pillows and a large V shaped pillow so was basically sat up and my surgeon said that helped me not swell further). Make sure you are drinking as that really helps – I know its hard but if you use a syringe it will help. Thinking of you, it will go down and remember this is not how you will look in the end! Make sure you use moisturiser on your face as it will get v dry from stretching and use a hydrocortisone ointment and Vaseline on your lips all the time as they will be stretched and need to heal too. The worst is over so stay strong x

    • Hi Julia, I had massive swelling following a 6 1/2 hour op it happened straight away and peaked at day three. When I show people photos of it they say they can’t even recognise me. I’m six months post now and I can confirm it does go away. Keep on top of the pain meds don’t try and be too brave at the start. I would recommend using the ice packs for a few days, when you haven’t been using them for a little while ( an hour or so) if your face feels hot carry on with the ice, when it feels normal or cold that’s the time to switch to the heat. And I agree with Mel, propped up in bed, keep hydrated etc and the worst is over. Best of luck and remember you aren’t on your own there’s lots of us who have been or are going through it and all want to help.

      • Thank you both, MonkeeMel and Ian,I started feeling better yesterday once the pain meds kicked in, it was a good lesson to take my meds regularly and not try to power thru pain that will just build up. I’ve been propped up and sleeping a lot, and thankfully I haven’t noticed my swelling increase too much since yesterday! I’ve only been able to get down juice (cherry, which I’ve heard is anti-inflammatory), and soup broth. My mom made me a smoothie with protein stuff in it, but it was just too thick to keep in my mouth. The more liquid I get down, the better I feel. Thank you guys for your advice, today I’m already feeling improved since yesterday!
        Julia

        • Glad to hear your feeling a little better.

        • I’m pleased to hear that Julia 🙂 I found day 3 or 4 the worst pain wise and then it got easier every far from then. Its interesting though as my surgeon said prepare to feel a bit low around day 3 (its to do with after effects of coming off of whatever they medicate you with directly after surgery that gives you the initial high, probably hence the pain so keep the meds coming!) Day 3, I remember feeling a bit emotional then I remembered him saying this. They say if you are happy you feel pain less so I tried to focus on the little achievements to boost myself. You will get frustrated but literally every day you’ll feel a bit better. Take care, Mel x

    • hey julia , zac here im 4 months post opp, i had a 8 hour double jaw surgery not long after my 18th birthday, i know exacly what your going through! i thought i had something wrong because my face was so swollen i had to have oxygen just to breathe but trust me it gets better 🙂 the numbess goes away and swelling will take awhile but when its all done you will look amazing! since my opp ive done a modeling shoot something i would never of done before and although its a hard road , its deffinatly worth it! stay strong

  6. Hi, I feel so fortunate to have found this site! I am 1 week post op for double jaw surgery to correct sleep apnea. I know everyone is different, but am wondering how long people needed to take pain meds for this surgery? I had braces put on pre-surgery, does anyone know how long they’ll have to remain on? How long do the stitches hurt? I think I’m healing well, but every day feels like a week long.

    • Hi Starla,

      Well done for getting through the first week it’s certainly the hardest and you’ve already done it. The surgery is different for everyone and there are also some differences between having it for sleep apnea ( like myself) and for all the other reasons. It’s just as tough for everyone for any of the reasons and everyone has different advice, so read it all and work out what fits you best.
      At this stage I’d advise you to keep on top of the pain medication, take it regularly and don’t miss doses. Don’t try and be brave and quit as early as possible you’ll regret it as I and I’m sure many others have. I was on regular pain medal for about eight weeks and then I still took them just not as strong and less regularly. The stitches heal quite quickly but will start to itch, this is good as it’s healing but will be annoying, cold liquids help held in the mouth for a few seconds and ice/heat packs. Time will speed up though the first few weeks are slow. I didn’t have braces with my surgery so I can’t offer anything on that. Hope some of this helps.

      • Hi Starla, sounds like you are doing really well. Today is 1 month since I had upper jaw advancement. Although the area above my top lip is still stiff all the stitches I’m aware of have now dropped out. Was really gentle brushing and using a little xmas tree floss brush to clean under my braces which really helps. Sometimes you rinse and the stitches are in the sink and other ones you just notice have gone. Pain wise I agree with Graham, go with what’s right for you. You will have some days you need them more than others. You could start to reduce them and see how it goes but do it gradually. You will find that when you start feeling more again and chewing there will be a bit more discomfort as you adjust. You have already got through the worse part. Had my braces adjusted this week and couldn’t feel it in my upper jaw as still frozen at wk 4 so don’t worry when you next have yours tightened as you won’t feel it 🙂

  7. Hello, im thinking about getting my overbite and excessively gummy smile done, so basically my upper jaw, and i wanted to know the healing process and how long it takes and most importantly can procedures such as these revert?

    • Leelee, given how invasive jaw surgery is, it’s not something you will want to undo after the fact, so make sure you make an informed decision before going ahead with it.

      You can get an idea of the healing process by reading the recovery timeline.

      Many oral surgeons offer free consultations, so I recommend booking one of these and asking a surgeon for their professional thoughts on your specific situation. 😊

  8. I have a question.
    My jaw surgery was 7 months ago and I had double jaw. My braces where taken of after surgery 5/6 months and I stopped wearing elastics after 3 months.
    My teeth don’t meet on one side even closed together I can still stick my tongue through them.
    I also have started to get crunching and aching in my jaw joint when I talk or eat as well as it slightly locks every time I yawn.
    Should I be concerned?
    My surgeon is trying to blame me saying it’s because I stopped eating elastics after 3 months but I was advised this was okay at the time to stop wearing them.
    I also still have a large gap between my teeth at the front which my surgery was meant to correct as I had my jaw brought forward

    • I am in the same boat as you, in terms of the “crunching” in my jaw joint. It’s not necessarily painful, but im not sure if it’s something normal.

      Sorry I can’t be much help haha obviously everyone is different but in my case, I am 5 months post op, my braces were taken off 4 months post op. I was told to wear elastics when i still had braces to make sure my bite was good, especially on the sides, but I wasn’t very diligent about it. At best I only wore it at night and even then sometime I forgot to. And my teeth were fine. But my ortho made sure my bite was good and solid before he approved my braces removal. It might be that your ortho removed your braces too soon

      • Thank
        You for the reply 🙂
        Its not as painful now it’s
        More just the crunching but I never had that before my
        Op.
        Yeah I spoke to my orthodontist and they said it was off and j could keep it on for 4 more months to see if it would correct however I needed them taken of because they where causing me so much pain I hadn’t acctualy brushed my top teeth in 2 months because I couldn’t touch them.
        Once brace came of I was fine and I’d never had that pain with my brace for the entire 5 years k had them on.
        I was good with my elastics and if I’m honest they weren’t doing anything in my opinion I had two either side at the front but that’s it and it just kept my mouth closed.

  9. Hi all, I’m just over 2 weeks into recovering from upper jaw surgery (Le Fort 1) to correct a class 3 malloclusion and underbite. I’m doing ok and should be returning to work next week. At this stage my nose, inner cheeks and the area above my top lip are numb. My actual top lip can move on the left side but is numb, but is frozen on the right side although it feels sensitive. Unlike most people I’m reading about I’ve not had any bands which I’m grateful for (my mouth can open 1 finger wide so far). I’m on a no chew diet till wk 4 then my surgeon says I can eat soft chew items like pasta (I can eat it blended now but can’t chew). My biggest issue is my speech, particularly S and Ch sounds. Anyone else have this? Also my ears keeping popping then filling up again. Hoping that goes soon. Still getting the odd bit of old blood from my nose which is watery and dark (surgeon said this is fine). Pain is ok but I live in the UK and cold air isn’t v nice at the mo! 🙂 v lucky that surgery on NHS so no cost involved other than having 2 molars removed as part of process at my
    dentist. Eating mashed veg and smoothies with puds and custard etc. Question: my surgical site above my top teeth is white with granulation tissue and can only see stitches hanging above my front teeth where they pulled my nose down and sewed as part of surgery so it doesn’t stick up. Thought I’d see more stitches??

    • MonkeeMel, it sounds like you’re doing really well as far recovery goes! Your speech difficulty is due to both the swelling and the fact that the shape of the inside of your mouth is slightly different, so it will take a few weeks for your brain to adjust to both of these things and learn to manipulate your tongue accordingly. It shouldn’t be a long-term thing.

      As for stitches, another common place for them is on the roof of your mouth, but those are only necessary if you had your upper palette expanded. Considering how weird stitches can feel in your mouth, I’d say you’re lucky for having fewer of them! 😄

      • Yes I think you are right about the swelling and new upper palette position affecting my speech Graham, hopefully be more normal soon. Having blogs like this where you can compare notes really helps, thankyou 😊

        I’m lucky they only did my top jaw in the end, but my brother had double jaw surgery and he is nearly 2 years post op and looks and feels great.

        He did a YouTube video diary if that is of interest to anyone too.
        http://youtu.be/1TPGC0-MH14

        Everyone is different and their healing takes its own pace. Sometimes I get frustrated but its such a short period out of our lives and every day gets us closer to be healed and moving on. My husband and son have been great, being 38 and having this done has been interesting, but I’m healing like an 18 yr old so far! Great to finally get this sorted. Good luck everyone, we will get there 😉

        • So jaw surgery is a family thing, then! It is a hereditary condition, so it makes sense that your brother needed the operation as well. I watched his video log and it’s really good. I might start sharing that with people so they know what the process of sleeping, drinking, and eating will be like during the first week. Thanks for passing it along!

          • That’s great, thanks Graham. Will keep reading, its interesting to hear how others are doing. I’ll tell my brother, he’ll be pleased if it helps anyone else in his position. Definitely genetic in our case as my sister had the same op too so its 3 of us in our family. All slightly different in terms of what we needed and how our recovery has taken shape. That’s why sites like this help so much. Take care all

  10. Do you need surgery for a deep overbite? I have a jaw pain, thinking it’s TMJ.. Will I need this? I’ve got a deep overbite, but not so deep that you can’t see the bottom teeth. It covers 1.5/3 on my bottom teeth

    • Misty, this surgery should be able to correct your overbite, and if it’s causing you pain in your jaw, it might be something worth looking into. At the very least, I would recommend booking a consultation with an oral surgeon just to ask them for their professional opinion on whether you should pursue jaw surgery. Best of luck!

  11. Ok, so I went in for consult to see if wisdom tooth would be removed – surgeon took one look at my jaw and said I have Condyler Hyperplasia and after tests was confirmed and possibly TMJ too (?). I have had loads of tests and my jaw is still actively growing (aged 28) and need to have double jaw surgery with orthodontics (joy – thought I had finished with those when I got rid of braces at 17). Can you offer any advice as to what to expect / what questions I should be asking surgeon as have not been given much info apart from above.

    Thank you
    Jo

    • Jo, I would suggest asking the surgeon 3 questions to start with:

      1) What is a general timeline from start to finish? For example, how long will you be wearing braces before and after surgery?

      2) What is the expected cost of the wisdom tooth extraction and jaw surgery? It’s best to have a ballpark figure up front so you know what to expect.

      3) Is it recommended to have the surgery while your jaw is still growing? I wanted to have this surgery at a much younger age, but my surgeon refused because if your jaw continues to grow, it will simply grow out of place again after the operation (which can be painful and require a followup surgery).

      Hopefully that will get the conversation going in an informative direction for you. 😊

      • Hi Graham,

        Thank you very much for this – I have my appointment with him and the ortho team (big pow wow) this coming Thursday and was feeling out of my depth but now have a starting point.

        I’m really lucky as in the UK so the cost will be covered by the NHS which from looking at other people’s posts – I am extremely lucky.

        After my initial braces for wonky teeth finished aged 17 – I had no issues, then noticed as time went on that my jaw was misaligned but thought that was just me being weird so really brilliant to see that I am not the only one and is more common than previously thought (not great for others going through this though) x

        Thanks again for your help, I feel more confident about the meeting now x
        Jo

  12. Hey Graham!
    I had double jaw surgery and genioplasty for my underbite recently and I am heading into week 6 of recovery. Everything is healing well, swelling is going down however I noticed when I am doing my jaw exercises and I try to open my mouth wide, my jaw is not straight meaning my bottom jaw moves towards the left a lot more, my left side of my face also hurts a lot more. I see my surgeon in 3 weeks and he noticed it in a recent appointment and said they will have to take an x ray next time to see what is wrong with my jaw joint as when I open my mouth, my jaw opening is not even. I also here a jaw popping/clicking noise when I open my mouth wide and close it or when I yawn on the left side. Should I be worried? Im really stressing out

    • Michael, hearing a popping or clicking noise is actually a fairly common thing at this point in the recovery, believe it or not. My guess with your jaw not moving evenly would be that uneven swelling is forcing it to one side (path of least resistance), but as your surgeon mentioned, an x-ray will shed light on what the actual problem is.

      I think the best thing you can do at this point is try to remain calm and wait for an x-ray at your next appointment. As long as your jaw was screwed back together properly during surgery, it should, in theory, remain in place. Swelling does bizarre things to people’s faces during this recovery, so hopefully that is the cause.

      If you remember, please let me know the outcome of your upcoming x-ray. I’d be interested to know what the cause is in case other people experience this in the future.

      • Hey Graham

        So it has improved quiet a bit and my lower jaw is a bit more even and looks a bit better now, maybe it has to do with swelling? I get my x ray in 2 weeks so I will update you on all of this! I am still stressing about my jaw popping, I mentioned to you about the clicking/popping sounds but when I open my mouth wide and close it, I will get this little pop and my jaw pops on either side. Is this normal?! I am stressing that I have developed some TMJ issue after surgery and it’s something I didn’t have before surgery. I’ll bring this up with my surgeon when I see him but was wondering if you experienced this. Im just worried this popping in my jaws is permanent every time I have to open my mouth

        • Also I had my splint taken out at week 4 and I am at week 7 now, Im worried maybe my orthodontist taking the splint out early and myself starting to chew on soft foods may have affected my jaw joints

          • Hello again! Happy to hear your jaw is looking a bit more symmetrical at this point. As long as the popping noises you hear are not painful, I honestly wouldn’t worry about it just yet. My jaw also popped quite often (nearly every time I opened my mouth) until after the 2-month mark. I believe this is due to swelling. I think swelling can add enough pressure to your jaw to make the joint “rub” a bit when opening and closing your mouth. However, I do recommend asking your surgeon about the popping noise during your next visit.

            As for having your splint removed early, that should not affect the alignment of your jaw. As far as I understand, the splint is actually meant to keep your upper palette expanded so the roof of your mouth doesn’t regress to its former shape. As long as you don’t recall any moments of trauma from chewing — for example, you felt your jaw shift in a painful way — there should be nothing to worry about.

            I think patience and optimism are still your best offensive tactics for a few more weeks. 😊

  13. Hi All!!! So I’m 5 months post op of double jaw surgery and let’s just say I’m still not 100% satisfied 😓 my lower jaw and gums are still numb, the screws are painful in the cold, one side of my face is sunk in, my bite is still not all there but I’m sure with ortho it will get fixed… I’m just getting inpatient of not able to eat or feel me face normal 😔 I still don’t like how my nose looks so wide and its worst when I try to smile… Sometimes I feel that I should have not touch my face with this surgery, but it’s done so now is just a waiting game to see if things get better. All I could say that this surgery has taken a lot of me and I have to keep telling my self to think positive 😁 and I notice that no one has mentioned how much hair you loose after surgery 😭 as a female it sucks… I hope your doing better Nini!!

    • Hi Rachel, I’m doing good thanks, much better than I was. I’m the same as you, my nose is my issue but it has gone down in the last month so I’m hoping it will keep getting smaller, like it was. Work was though as people didn’t recognise me. People thought I was a new girl and I must be related to me! My skin broke out really bad like yours did but I didn’t have my hair fall out, that could be from the stress. Sorry to here you still not happy. I know it’s so hard but I’ve heard of other people it can take 6 months to a year to heal from this surgery. My gums and teeth are still numb too. It’s very annoying. I still feel regret too but I think it’s hard to get used to a new face so hopefully we will feel better over time. 🙏

  14. I have a general question for anyone and everyone who has had this surgery. Is the surgical splint always left in following surgery? My daughter did not have one after surgery and the surgeon never took impressions for one although our orthodontist did take surgical model impressions. Is it possible that the surgeon used a splint during the surgery but did not leave it in? I am asking because I’m getting a $1200 bill for impressions and construction of a splint yet he also used VSP (computer generated modeling) and she did not have a splint in her mouth after surgery. Thank you!!

    • Yes. My surgeon only used the splint in surgery. He showed it to me before I went under (I’m an engineer and interested in all the technical details!) but I didn’t see it after that.

    • Hi, I didn’t have a splint at all. I had my surgery for sleep apnea to improve my airway (double jaw advancement of 1 cm) , not for dental reasons I’m not sure if that makes a difference.

  15. Hi everyone. I’m over 20 weeks post op. Totally understand the feeling of regret but I really do like my new face. I think it just take a while to get used to the change. It was strange to look in the mirror as I didn’t recognise myself but honestly give it time! I’ve seen my surgeon this week and found out my top jaw hasn’t healed and is moving even 20weeka post op. I’m awaiting a CT scan to investigate further…. Has anyone else experienced this? Becky X

    • Becky, so good to hear from someone who went through the phase of adjusting to their new appearance. Patience is key during recovery!

      I haven’t met anyone whose jaw was still moving around at 20 weeks post-op, so I wonder if your body is trying to relapse a bit. Were you able to have the scan and learn anything about this yet?

  16. Hello. I’m 18 years old and I just recently (13 days ago) had surgery for my underbite (class III malocclusion). I initially was supposed to have double jaw surgery, but just a day before surgery my surgeon calls me and tells me that double jaw surgery is not needed and only my lower jaw needs to be worked on. At the time I was ecstatic because that meant less surgery, but I am not at all pleased with the aesthetic result. I believe that my midface is quite flat, and my profile has not improved. It looks like I have almost no jawline and from the frontal view I am quite boxy on the sides on my jaw. I believe that overall for aesthetics he should’ve moved the jaw slightly up and forward but he claimed it wasn’t needed and my upper jaw was fine. Do you think this is just swelling and my face will become harmonious in about 3 months (I’m just 1 day shy of 2 weeks post op)? I’m just really worried that I made my face look weird/unproportional and I honestly think I looked better before this surgery. Shoild I trust my surgeon in this or go off my own intuition? What do you reccommend I do? I feel like I should have questioned him more when he changed his mind.

    • Hi Val, It is very early to judge, you will be still swollen. So give it time. I was like you at the start but it has changed at lot. good luck

      • Alright this makes me feel a bit better. My nurse practitioner said its also way too early to tell about my appearance. So are you now happy with your results? How many months/weeks post op are you and when did you start feeling better about it?

        • Hi Val, Im 9 1/2 weeks post op now, Im not 100% happy no, but I’m hoping I’m still healing and it will get better. I have good days and bad days but I’m defiantly more positive than before. At the start I thought I was going to be stuck like that. It was 7 weeks in until I started to look somewhat normal (like myself) and started to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I had no idea the swelling could last for so long and distort the final result and even now I think the swelling gone but my cheeks are still rounded and my nose is still wide but my surgeon said it is still healing so I’m hoping it will go down more. fingers crossed. I was filled with such regret and I’m still not sure what the result will be so as of now I’m going to be positive and wait another couple months to judge.

          • I am a lot happier than I was a month ago, thats for sure 🙂

          • Yeah I understand. I hope everything works out for you Nini. It’s really hard for me to smile and when I smile it looks like my midface (upper jaw) is still back and I can barely see my teeth when I smile. I don’t know if this is because I’m still 13 days post op and my muscles are adjusting or I actually needed the upper jaw surgery. I feel like my surgeon would’ve seen this midface deficiency but he said I didn’t have any problems. Idk what to do. Thanks for your reponses nini they are making me feel not alone in this.

        • No problem Val, I know exactly how you feel. It really is traumatising looking at your face for the first while. Nothing prepared me for the horror. When I went for my 1 month post app, I cried to my surgeon and told him I wanted him to put me back to how I was. He was very kind and told me that its normal to feel how I did and most people do, especially girls and I just have to try and be patient. He is the doctor so I had to trust him. I hated everything. My smile looked freaky, my lips were all droopy at the sides of my mouth. my nose was huge, my chin was like a witch. I felt like a monster. I cried and cried, I went into hiding and would not see anyone only my family. At 7 weeks I started to look a bit better and day by day it got a bit better. At 8 weeks, I finally show my friend my new face and asked her to be completely honest with me, cos I did know what I was seeing anymore. When she first saw me she said I looked different and it took a minute but for her to get used to it, she examined my face and said it was still so obvious I was still swollen and tight and my nose is wider but she said honestly that I looked pretty and much softer and that my smile was 100% improvement. I was so relieved. In the last 2 weeks I’ve seen a few more people and they too have said the same thing, that I look pretty and it is an improvement. I still am not there yet but I am starting to see the light. My chin is getting softer and my face doesnt look so square and my nose has gone down since 1month so I am hoping there is more to go. If so I will be happy with the results. I will keep you posted. I think at 2 weeks you are so early, the swelling, makes things look out of sorts for a while. so don’t judge just yet. hang in there. it will get better. You have to trust your doctor and if you are still not happy, don’t worry, your doctor will listen and see your concerns. They can always do an adjustment if its not right. The waiting game is the hardest!!

          • Ugh I am so sorry you had to go through that! I don’t know what you look like or the difference but from what your saying it really does sound like you changed for the better :). I honestly wish I had full cheeks as a problem. I’m seeing my surgeon in 1 day so I’m going to express my concerns to him. I just wish I had expressed them before the surgery that may have changed his treatment plan, but like you said he is the professional so I’m just trying to trust that everything will turn out ok. I really hope I don’t end up needing another surgery and that he made the right decision. My parents would never agree. I just stay up at night all the time thinking about this, and I feel like I have become mildly depressed. I just hope that this surgery was for the better because prior to the surgery I was very comfortable in my looks, minus my elongated jaw.

          • Val, It is normal to feel depressed after a surgery like this. I think have all felt that. Its from the medicines and the trauma to your body. It will get better. It helped me to read peoples blogs and there is not many people who regret thing in the end.

  17. #Longpost alert
    Hi, so happy to have found this blog. I had a double jaw orthognathic surgery to correct a protrusive lower jaw and a gummy smile. I’m 5 weeks post op now. They havent put braces in, but some sort of arch wires on my gums to keep my jaws in place, along with elastics.However, there are a couple of things I am really worried about and would really appreciate it if someone would address my concerns.

    1) After surgery I am left with quite an overbite. Its so bad that my upper teeth keep biting on my lower lip and leave a mark there. It’s quite painful and looks really awful. I can’t smile with my lips closed at all, my teeth get in the way. Is this normal with a bi-jaw surgery? Can this be corrected with braces later? My surgeon says he’s done an overcorrection as the tongue tends to push out the lower teeth later, but I’m not sure I believe him. Can this be corrected with braces at all?

    2) Also I still have a lot of swelling even at 5 weeks. How long might it take for all of it to subside?

    3) I have difficulty talking clearly. Like I can’t pronounce my T’s and R’s properly. Is this because of swelling or because of the overbite? Will this get better overtime or is it permanent?

    4) I can’t eat/chew properly because of my overbite. I have to chew my food with the back/side teeth and I end up swallowing half my food without chewing and the other half ends up stuck at the sides. Also I have started to slurp a lot while eating.

    Please do answer my queries. I’m really scared now that I made the wrong decision with this surgery 🙁

    • Sanjana, apologies for the slow response. I’ve been traveling and did not have access to wifi over the past month.

      1) Many surgeons over-correct your bite to allow for possible relapse. My surgeon also did this and I thought I looked ridiculous after the surgery. However, once your swelling goes away and your movement returns, you should adjust to your new bite. So try not to worry too much as feeling like you have a big overbite after this surgery is actually perfectly normal.

      2) It takes about 8 weeks for most of your swelling to go away and can take up to 4 months for residual swelling to disappear. Swelling is also affected by how much you talk throughout the day. Again, nothing to fret about.

      3) I also had to adjust to the new shape of my mouth and it took me a few weeks after having my splint removed to learn how to speak clearly. Hopefully by this point you’ve figured it out!

      4) Surprisingly, chewing is a skill that also must be relearned a bit given the new shape of your mouth.

      Since you posted this a month ago, how are you doing now? Any progress with the swelling, chewing, and speech? How do you feel about your appearance at this point? 😊

  18. I have a question for those who are at least 3 months post op. My daughter will be at 4 months post op on April 23. Her recovery has gone really well, most of the swelling is gone (but not all), she has just a few tingly areas on her chin and her teeth moved back to midline and are lined up again. The only thing that concerns her is the tightness below her nose through her upper lip. She whistles and will stretch out her mouth to try to alleviate it but she feels as if it constrains her smile. I am assuming it’s normal? Does it go away? Is there anything else she can do to beak up that scar tissue? Or is it just muscular tightness? Thanks in advance for any feedback!

    • Hi there I am almost 8 weeks post op double jaw. The tightness she is feeling is due to the healing of the incision lines and are tightest on average between the 6th and 8th week. It will subside

  19. Yeah you’re probably right. I’m seeing my surgeon in 2 weeks so will ask him then. I’m not able to eat hard foods yet either Rachel and can only just get more than 2fingers in my mouth so I’m guessing it’s pretty normal. I’ve been told to keep opening my mouth to exercise it. ☺️

  20. Hi everyone, im 16 weeks post op (2jaw surgery) I’ve notice that my top line of teeth move when I brush them. I can also move them with my tongue. I’m just wondering if anyone has had the same issue as me and what the outcome was? I’m hoping it’s nothing too serious. I hope everyone is recovering well. Be strong it gets easier each day 🙂

    • Hi Becky, I’m a bit confused by what you mean. Are you saying your actual teeth are loose and moving around or that your gums are moving?

      • Hi Graham, thank you for replying. It’s very difficult to explain but when I brush my teeth the whole top row shift about 1mm. When I bite my teeth feel kind of bouncy and o can see the same 1mm of movement in my top teeth when I bite together. I can push either side of my top teeth with my tongue or fingers and the top row will move from side to side about 1mm. It’s not one tooth it’s the entire row. I’ve been worried the jaw could be loose but after 4 months that’s impossible right?

        • I’m also 4 months post op, my jaws don’t move but some of my front teeth are loose 😞 I go next week to my surgeon and I’ll ask him… I had a ?? For you or graham… When you eat do your teeth feel like a electric shock? I still can’t chew crunchy food because it hurts 😓 do you feel the same way or can you eat everything? And also I can’t open my mouth no wider than 2 fingers even at this point… Is that normal???

          • Hi Rachel, I recall experiencing that “shock” when eating hard foods until about 5 months post-op. It wasn’t painful, but felt like my nerves were responding to the added pressure hard foods put on my teeth. If you are already visiting your surgeon next week, I would definitely ask them if they expect that feeling to go away in the near future. 😊

        • Thanks for explaining a bit more, Becky. I don’t think your jaw should be “floating” at this point as the bone should have fused back together by now. I recommend calling your surgeon and asking if they can provide an explanation or perhaps take an x-ray to make sure your screws are still in place. As long as you have no pain, it’s probably nothing too major, but it’s best to get a professional opinion on it. 😊

          • Hey I would like to ask if it is possible for jaw surgery to give you a longer face if you have a small face and want it to be longer.

          • Raymond, I don’t think the surgery will affect the “length” of your face. If your appearance changes at all, it will probably be noticeable in your jawline and the shape of your cheeks.

Leave a Reply

“Over the past several years, I’ve done my best to respond to every comment on this blog, but unfortunately I no longer have the time to do so. If you have questions about jaw surgery and want to connect with others on this journey, please join the Facebook group. Don't worry — it's free!”

*