Jaw Surgery Recovery

My Personal Jaw Surgery Recovery

I had double jaw surgery and my surgeon decided to tie my upper and lower teeth together with wires to hold my jaws in place for 6 weeks. Thankfully, my surgeon decided that I was ready to get the wires removed at about 5 1/2 weeks after my jaw surgery.

You can read more about my jaw surgery recovery process in great detail by visiting the following blog categories:

You can also check out my jaw surgery photos to see how my face changed during the jaw surgery recovery.

It was one of the hardest experiences of my life but it was worth the pain. The initial 2 weeks were the hardest and it took over 6 months to look normal again.

Number of Jaws Operated On

  • Single Jaw Surgery: Your upper and lower teeth should be tied together for about 4 weeks.
  • Double Jaw Surgery: Your upper and lower teeth should be tied together for about 6 weeks.

Securing Your Jaws Together After Jaw Surgery

  • Rubber bands: Removable and less restriction on your jaw movements.
  • Wires: Only your oral/maxillofacial surgeon will be able to remove them with ease. You won’t be able to see your tongue during the whole ordeal and swallowing of food will be hard.

Amount of Bruising and Swelling

The amount of bruising and swelling you will experience depends on the number of jaws operated too. You can expect more pain if you operated on both jaws and the recovery time will be longer.

Some people do experience more bruising and swelling than others and I really do not understand why. I suspect the jaw surgery method used makes a difference too.

Your Mental Attitude

If you’re the type of person that does not get scared or discouraged easily, you won’t have a lot of problems dealing with your jaw surgery recovery.

If you’re the type of person that tends to amplify your fears and gives up easily, now is your chance to toughen up mentally! Get through this jaw surgery recovery and you will feel like you can do anything in the world.

Just focus on the new you to constantly remind yourself why you did this. The jaw surgery recovery process sucks. In fact, most of the good things in life require a lot of work and sacrifice too. Just focus on the benefits and deal with crappy process.

Equipment

If I could do it all over again, I would have purchased a high-powered blender before my jaw surgery so that I can blend my favourite food into smoothies.

I also purchased about 10 syringes that helped me to pump the food into my mouth. Adding a bit of cooking oil into the syringes seem to prolong their lifespan.

I did not find straws useful because I could not put it between my upper and lower teeth with my teeth wired shut! Remember, I could not see my tongue for 5 1/2 weeks!

Food

It seems like as long as you have a high-powered blender, you can blend almost anything, including iPhones and iPads if you want!

Stock up on easy-to-blend food like vegetables and fruit. I never tried blending meat because I am vegetarian so I can’t comment on that. Ice-cream and other energy drinks are also popular things to eat during your recovery.

Dos

  • Read as many jaw surgery blogs and forums to get a feel of what you will be experiencing to get yourself mentally prepared.
  • Take your medicine daily.
  • Stop taking your pain killers if you no longer feel any pain.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice.
  • Rest well and sleep as much as you want.
  • Rinse your mouth at least 3 times a day because you won’t be able to brush too much.
  • Focus on the positive results of your jaw surgery instead of the pain to avoid feeling miserable.
  • Spend your recovery time wisely by catching up on your reading and other self-improvement activities.
  • Have your pets around you (if you have one) so that they can keep you company. Research has shown that cats can accelerate the healing process of broken bones and muscles with their purr. One more reason to keep a cat and I had 4 at the time of my jaw surgery!

Don’ts

  • Avoid hard food and non-liquid food.
  • Avoid anything that would make you laugh.
  • Avoid people that would normally upset you.
  • Stay at home as much as possible to avoid getting stares from people, especially during the first few weeks of your jaw surgery recovery.
  • If you suffer from motion sickness after jaw surgery, try not to ride on a vehicle too much.
  • Limit your physical activities to light movements. Don’t run or jump, lest you hurt your jaws!
  • Don’t take this as an opportunity to eat as much junk food as you like.
  • Don’t fret about your weight loss because you will gain some or all of it back after you regain your ability to chew!

Acne

I don’t know why people get more pimples after jaw surgery but I know I am one of them.

Expect to get pimples around your face and neck after your jaw surgery. The amount of pimples you will get will vary from person to person.

Your face may get more sensitive to certain creams that you have been using for ages. If so, try to figure out which one you are getting a negative response to and switch brands. I discovered I was allergic to Oxy pimple creams after my jaw surgery and I switched to the Neutrogena brand and my pimples reduced.

Widened Nose

This only applies to you if you had your upper jaw operated on. Your nose will end up wider than it was before your jaw surgery.

What I found was that I could reverse this by using a nose shaping clip like the Nose Huggie or Nose Right to make my nose less wide. It costs about $10 and you won’t have to get a nose job to correct your widened nose.

I recommend using these nose shaping clips after the rubber bands or wires come off because you won’t be able to breath with your nose when you use the clip!

Support

Get your spouse, family, friends or hire someone to take care of your daily chores so that you can concentrate on healing.

Trust me, cleaning your house and taking care of someone else is not something you will be able to do properly in the first few weeks of your jaw surgery recovery.

Go online to web sites like mine or other jaw surgery support forums to share your experiences. People who are undergoing the same experience as you will understand all the pain you are going through and offer you practical advice.

14 Comments On “Jaw Surgery Recovery”

On 17th September 2011 1:32 PM, min said:

Hey, I had upper jaw surgery few yrs ago.

After jaw surgery, I still had my braces (orthodontic) on.

After I finished with my braces (about 5 months after the surgery) , I went to jaw surgeon for check up. Then I went to check up last time about 8 months after the surger.

then I moved far away, I’ve never contacted them again (for 5 yrs).

Were there any follow up check up even after 8 months for you?? :’(

Do know if

On 21st September 2011 9:12 AM, Vince said:

I had a few follow ups with my surgeon but I don’t think it is very important if your jaws are fine.

I have had over a year of braces after my jaw surgery and I am quite sick of it. I hope to get them off in October or November 2011.

On 13th October 2011 5:36 PM, reshma said:

HI i underwent for jaw surgery 2 yrs back…. they rushed and removed my braces… i don hv any problem on my jaws bt i hv a problem on my lower teeth…dentist told that upper teeths forcing my lower ones…. even i hv a little severe moblity on my lower teeths…. i am much scared abt my lower teeths as it would fall…..

On 2nd December 2011 6:24 PM, ziyunlim said:

Hi Vince!

Great to see your blog here! It really helps alot!
I have exactly the same 7 problems as you and I went for La forte I on 9/11/2011.
I’m post op 23days today.
I totally agree with the widened nose.
I was told because of the swelling at the nose area and my heightened cheek bones, I’m going to have a bigger nose temporarily.
You mentioned about nose huggies, how does it work and where can I purchase it?
Thank you!

On 3rd December 2011 12:07 PM, Vince said:

Just Google nose huggies and you will find it.

It is very cheap compared to getting surgery. My oral/maxillofacial surgeon told me they put a clip on my nose during surgery to minimise the widening. It seems like you can use it after surgery to get it back to its original shape.

On 6th January 2012 4:33 AM, Tasha said:

I’ve had my braces for almost 3 years and although they a achieving there orignal meaning they’re not getting rid of my underbite so it seems that the only choice i have is to get the surgery. I’m only 16 so can’t get it yet anyway but i don’t have a severe underbite like sum, its there but not very pronounced so would you still suggest i get it done or not? It would be good to get an oppinion of someone who’s actually had it done. x

On 20th January 2012 7:52 AM, Vince said:

It is up to you. If it makes you happy and you can afford the jaw surgery, why not?

On 2nd February 2012 7:40 AM, Eileen said:

Hey Vince,

I had double jaw surgery 2 weeks ago, and like you, I’ve found my nose has widened. I want to order a nose huggie/right/magic but I’ve googled it and many people say it is a scam. Does it work for you?

Thanks

On 28th March 2012 10:16 PM, Vince said:

It works for me. Did you know that the surgeons also put a clip on your nose during surgery?

On 27th June 2012 3:30 AM, Benjamin Kurien said:

thank you vince,for all the articles shared
i had my upper and lower jaw surgery done during the last week,and on the process of healing…
do you think i should constantly move my jaws as exercise,to avoid being stiff..did u practice any exercise during your process..

On 3rd July 2012 11:00 AM, Claire said:

My son had surgery 2 weeks ago with Dr. Gunson of Arnett/Gunson in Santa Barbara. They lower the nasal floor so the nose isn’t widened/upturned. You should see if your dr does this.

On 3rd July 2012 12:05 PM, Vince said:

I don’t think you should be moving your jaw immediately after jaw surgery. What did your doctors tell you to do?

On 8th October 2012 1:12 AM, Teresa said:

I had upper jaw surgery for corrective underbite, 4 days ag0. I am very swollen and was doing okay until I got this very bad extreme pain in the right side of my neck , in the back
The pain is worrying me about a blod clott or something
I couldn’t even imaging going through this for 2 weeks,
Help

On 8th May 2013 3:07 AM, Rosemary said:

My daughter is going next week for double jaw surgery and she is not one for wanting to be patient, I just hope i can be…….. we’ll let you know how it turns out.

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