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How Do You Know if You Need Reconstructive Jaw Surgery?

If your upper and lower jaws just don’t fit, you may be missing out on some of life’s simplest pleasures—from enjoying a slice of pizza to taking a bite out of a sandwich. Everyday activities that everyone else takes for granted—whether it’s eating, talking or getting a good night’s rest—may be challenging at times.

Sound familiar? If your dentist has informed you that your upper and lower jaws are too far apart for braces and orthodontic appliances alone to move the teeth into a normal bite relationship, it’s time to consider corrective jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery.

How do you know if you need corrective jaw surgery?

Consider your day-to-day activities. Do you have problems with biting or chewing food? Do you have difficulties swallowing? Do you suffer from persistent jaw or jaw joint (TMJ) pain or headaches? Has your spouse complained about your snoring, a red flag that you might have breathing problems when sleeping called sleep apnea?

Next, take a look in the mirror. Do you have a space between your upper and lower teeth when your mouth is closed (called “open bite”)? Do you have a protruding jaw? Is it impossible to make your lips meet without straining?

Finally, consider your health history. Were you born with birth defects that affected your jaw? Have you suffered a traumatic facial injury?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be a candidate for oral surgery to correct your misaligned jaw. The only way to know for sure is to schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon. At Oral & Facial Surgeons of Arizona, our surgeons have the highest level of expertise in treating patients with poor jaw alignment. During your office visit, we will take X-rays to evaluate your bite and jaw alignment. Using state-of-the-art 3-D models and computerized imaging, we can help you understand your underlying condition. By the end of the consultation, you will feel fully informed about whether this oral surgery is right for you.