I am a 62 year old female. I had double jaw...
I am a 62 year old female. I had double jaw surgery (overbite) and genioplasty. The reason for the surgery was sleep apnea. Because my lower jaw was too far back, my airway was small and my snoring was awful. I had been using a C-PAP for the past year. Also I have been a teeth grinder for most of my life but was wearing a night guard, not soon enough to grind a lot of my teeth away! To look at my profile before, you would see a receding chin, not awful in appearance, but the TMJ, sleep apnea, teeth grinding were pretty bad, and I would have ended up losing teeth because of the misalignment of my teeth combined with the grinding.
Over the past several months, I watched as many YouTube videos as I could. There are lots of young people who have documented their entire jaw surgery journey, and it seems like 99.9% of them were happy with the final result.
Right now I'm only on Day 7 post op. There are little improvements every day. For example, today my mouth still feels a little less swollen inside and it's easier to talk. My lower lip and chin are totally numb as I was told they would be. There are pins and needles. My surgeon told me it will take about 6 months for the feeling to come back fully, and possibly longer, or possibly never come back completely. For what it's worth, I have been taking homeopathic remedies to help with swelling and with nerves: The night before surgery Arnica Montana 200c, 6 pellets under tongue AND Hypericum Perforatum 200c 6 pellets under tongue. After surgery I am taking Arnica 30c 6 pellets 3x/day AND Hypericum 30c 6 pellets 3x/day. Not sure how long I will keep taking these. Also for what it's worth I plan to start seeing an acupuncturist in about another 2 weeks. ALSO I am taking high quality food supplements and protein powders and lots of vitamins. I wouldn't go near Ensure or Boost with a 10 foot pole.
I see my surgeon in 2 days. He will take out the stitches in my cheeks (one one each side). Not sure what he will tell me.
Some photos from right before surgery to Day 8
You can see my pre-surgery profile, how blown up my face was right after surgery, and how it looks on Day 8.
Day 9 Saw the Surgeon for my first checkup
Was able to gargle this morning for the first time! Bruising is lighter on neck, going away.
I am moving in slow motion getting dressed, getting tired easily, that's to be expected. Put a load in the wash!
I had my first post-op appointment with the surgeon. He said everything is good. Start to use warm compresses for the swelling. Stay on the non-chew diet. He will probably give me rubber bands at my appointment next week because my bite is slight to the left. He took out the stitches on my cheeks. The ones in my mouth may start to fall out this week.
The grinding on the right side is normal, due to swelling and repositioning of jaw.
Spoke to my homeopath Michelle Rose. She told me to add Nux Vomica for detoxification, and Staphysagria for wounds and incisions, 30 c each, one or two a day for three days. Also for the rest of today, Saturday and Sunday go back to the 200ck Arnica and Hypericum 2x/day. On Monday if it’s better go back to 30c. Also take a B complex vitamin that’s made with real food not chemicals.
Update Day 11 post op double jaw and genioplasty
A woman sent me a private message this morning and this is my reply to her. She was contemplating whether to get the surgery and wondered how I was doing.
Today is Day 11 post op. So far everything I am going through is not unexpected, except for one thing. I was severely constipated after the surgery from the narcotic medications they give you afterwards, so you might try to head that off with some stool softeners when you get home. The initial days are rough because you're so numb and swollen. It's hard to drink, eat and talk. You will drool a lot. I used tons of tissues because I constantly felt like I was drooling, but that is gone now. I decided to only stay one night at the hospital so I would get better nutrition and some peace and quiet. I was nervous about going home after only one night but I was okay. Naturally you will need someone at home to help you. If nothing else you will be extremely tired in the initial days as the effects of the anesthesia are wearing off. I slept more than I knew I could for the first week, which is good. I still rest as much as possible. I bought a reclining chair which I've been sleeping in all this time, because you will need to keep your head elevated to minimize swelling. I am thrilled with my recliner!
Every day sees a little improvement. Patience is required as full recovery takes a long time, 6 months? 1 year? 2 years? Not really sure.
The most uncomfortable thing right now is the numbness in combination with pins and needles in combination with some soreness inside my mouth. I started using dental wax yesterday because the braces are irritating my swollen cheeks inside my mouth. My face was feeling like a block of wood (whatever that means to you :)) but today I feel it is a bit looser (again, whatever that means).
If you were to talk to me, I am totally understandable, but my jaws tire easily so I can't talk for very long without that happening. I think as my jaws get tired my speech gets more muffled because I don't want to move my mouth so much. It's still hard to smile.
I was neither wired nor 'rubber-banded', so I was able to start drinking from a cup almost immediately when I got home. I bought a bunch of plastic squeezy bottles with straws of various kinds and I really haven't used any of them, which is good.
Yesterday I walked my dogs for the first time, and drove myself to the pharmacy. Using my body made me feel better.
Your initial days will probably be spent sleeping, taking meds, cleaning your mouth and teeth (as much as possible), showering (feels so good), keeping ice on your face (I bought a 'jaw bra' similar to what you will use at the hospital but it holds gel packs rather than plain ice), preparing food (I make my own combinations using a Vita Mix) and drinking lots and lots of fluids. Since it's very hard to clean your teeth, drinking liquids is a good thing. I clean my mouth every time I eat. It's quite a ritual. I use a variety of things: salt water, peroxide mixed with salt water, Peroxyl, Neem mouthwash from the health food store, and the Rx mouth cleaner from the surgeon, and toothpaste of course. I bought a toothpaste called EarthPaste. It's so gentle that it's even edible. I use it as well as others.
My lips have been swollen. You will need to use some kind of ointment on them continuously to keep them moist. In the beginning there was some abrasion and bleeding of my lips because in the surgery the lips get stretched and messed up! My favorite is Burt's Bees Ultra Moisturizer for Lips.
I can still say so far so good. I saw my surgeon 2 days ago and he is pleased, so I am pleased. I took 3 weeks off of work. I'm at the halfway point. I hope by then I will be able to talk more easily, and feel more energetic.
I've been taking homeopathic remedies in addition to the medications, and will start getting acupuncture soon.
Speaking of medication, I take an antibiotic for 2 weeks, and Lodine, an NSAI for not sure how long. I was given a prescription for Dilaudid, which I only took four times since I've been home. That was in the first few days but I'm done with taking Dilaudid because I'm not in pain (more discomfort than pain) and it will cause constipation which I surely don't want. My elimination seems back on track now.
All in all, everything good.
I had lots of bruising below my chin and on my neck, but it's going away nicely.
Day 15 looking good
Had an appointment at the orthodontist today. He says my face looks much more balanced, and inside my mouth looks good. I'll see him again in two weeks and maybe start back to orthodontics in four weeks. You can still see the bruising under my neck but it's going away. I'm tingly from my upper lip to my entire chin. I still sound funny when I talk but it's perfectly easy to understand what I'm saying. Still swollen in the areas where the plates and screws are. It's much easier to brush my teeth now as I'm able to get the toothbrush all the way in because there is less swelling inside my mouth. Tomorrow I have a second visit with the oral surgeon.
Going a bit bonkers
I'm at day 28. I see my surgeon in 2 days, which I'm looking forward to because I'm expecting him to tell me I can start chewing and blowing my nose! I still feel quite a bit swollen inside my mouth although most people don't notice, and there's a lot of tingly feelings. When I'm not talking I don't notice it so much, but when I talk it accentuates all the weird uncomfortable feelings. Since I'm a teacher, I do a lot of talking, but since I'm a piano teacher, I don't have to teach for several hours in a row, which is great. I'm a bit sore around my nostrils but the surgeon said there are or were a lot of stitches inside. My chin and half of my lower lip are totally numb except for a small spot on my chin. Every place else is tingly. Every place else means my lips, in between my nose and upper lip, a little bit below my eyes, my cheeks along and creases (I imagine this is where the plates and screws are). My gums are numb too. I have a looong list of questions to ask my surgeon on Friday. I'll let you know what he tells me. On another note, yesterday was World Elephant Day, so my photo is grey-tone, and you see the elephant earrings :)
nine to eleven weeks
Things feel like they have been on a plateau for awhile. Upper lip getting feeling back. Lower lip and chin still numb and tingly. TMJ has returned this week, but I had surgery for sleep apnea, not TMJ, and my sleep apnea is gone. I will have another sleep study in a week to make it official. I have to be careful when I yawn because I'm afraid of setting off the TMJ.
No more sleep apnea :)
12 Nov 2014
4 months post
I had a sleep study on October 6th about three months post op. Saw the sleep doctor today November 12th. He says I no longer have sleep apnea, so the surgery was a success. Happy! Had my 63rd birthday last week.
Four Months 10 days
26 Nov 2014
4 months post
I'm pretty sure the swelling is gone, or 90% of it. My chin and lower lip are still numb and I'm having TMJ issues, which isn't anything new, except that it's worse than before the surgery. I understand that will all the changes in my bite and alignment that the TMJ might get better or worse, and there's nothing to be done about it until my braces are off, so we'll see... My chin is still highly super sensitive to touch. Also when my lips come together I can feel the sensations in my lower lip. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and it's snowing here! I am grateful that my sleep apnea is gone :)
Just adding a photo of myself with my new rubber bands, which look like fangs. They are so annoying, especially with my nerves giving me wrong information. The corners of my mouth and parts of my chin always feel very wet, because the bands touch my lips, and of course the bands are wet, being in my mouth! I will be happy when I don't have to wear them anymore. I'm supposed to wear them 24/7 except for cleaning my teeth, but I find I need to remove them when I eat sometimes.
Braces are Off
10 Feb 2015
7 months post
Braces came off January 16th, retainers went on January 28th. Today is February 10th. Teeth begin to move the second the braces come off, so I must wear the retainer as close to 24/7 as possible. My chin is still numb, which is really annoying, but I'm resigned to whether the feeling comes back or not. The first few days in retainers were uncomfortable but now I'm more used to them.