Having constant jaw pain is a horrible thing to experience. No matter what you do, there is always a dull ache in your jaw. When you eat, it can hurt even more. In many cases, over-the-counter medication cannot help. In some cases, jaw surgery may be necessary. Chronic jaw pain and jaw surgery, known as orthognathic surgery, is more common than you may think. It can be a relatively simple procedure but relieves a significant amount of pain in the patient.
Common Causes of Jaw Pain
There are many causes of chronic jaw pain. One of the leading causes of jaw pain is misalignment of the jaw. A jaw has two parts: the upper jawbone, the maxilla; and the lower jawbone, the mandible. There are three major misalignments that sometimes need to be corrected through jaw surgery.
- Overbite. The maxilla significantly protrudes over the lower jaw.
- Underbite. The lower jaw protrudes too far forward.
- Open bite. This condition is when the upper and lower jaws do not meet when the mouth is closed.
There are other symptoms that a patient can experience that might indicate the need for corrective jaw surgery. These symptoms can be one or a number of combinations of the following:
- Chronic jaw pain
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or chronic jaw joint pain
- Unable to close your mouth, always suffering from dry mouth
- Sleep apnea or difficulty breathing while sleeping
- Injuries to the face where the jaw is broken or malformed
- An inability to chew or bite properly
- Unable to clench your teeth
- Birth defects that have affected the alignment of the jaw
Different Jaw Surgeries
- Maxillary osteotomy. Maxillary osteotomy or upper jaw surgery is designed to fix severely receded upper jaws. During this procedure, the jaw is manipulated and fixed into the correct place with screws and metal plates. This procedure is most commonly used to correct an overbite, crossbite, and open bite.
- Mandibular osteotomy. This lower jaw surgery repairs receded lower jaws such as severe underbites.
- Genioplasty/chin surgery. This is another procedure that is used to fix the problem of a severely receding lower jaw. This procedure includes the restructuring of the jaw as well as the chin. This is just one surgical procedure that remedies both issues. The patient does not have to endure two surgeries.
What Should I Expect during Jaw Surgery?
The most important thing to realize is that you will know exactly what your doctors will be doing during the surgery. Prior to the operation, they will explain to you in detail every step of the process and what you can expect when you wake up from the anesthesia. The surgery will take place in a hospital setting. The doctors will use the latest technology and surgical procedures so that you will have the best outcome possible. In most cases, the surgery will require one night’s stay in the hospital for observation purposes.
South Jersey Oral Surgeons at Lanzi Burke Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons Can Help Your Chronic Jaw Pain and Get You Back to Smiling
If you are experiencing chronic jaw pain, contact the South Jersey oral surgeons at Lanzi Burke Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. Our team has been treating complex oral surgery cases for decades. We have successfully performed hundreds of jaw surgeries necessary to fix chronic jaw pain. Call us today at 856-582-4222 or contact us online to make an appointment or schedule a consultation. Our offices are located in Washington Township, Haddonfield, and Woolwich Township, New Jersey, and we are dedicated to helping patients throughout South Jersey.