10 Days Post-Op Openbite Jaw Surgery Smile is Now Drooping on One Side, Permanent?

My son 15yrs of age had openbite jaw reconstructive surgery 10days ago. Everything seemed fine just the normal swelling but on the 11th day we noticed his smile has dropped on his left side. this is disturbing for me as a parent. and to make if worse he is very shy. Will this stil change - as there was nothing different besides the swelling and numbness which is acceptable. please help

Doctor Answers 3

Dropped smile on one side after Jaw Surgery

I would call your surgeon and set up an appointment with him to see your son and explain to both of you if there is some nerve damage and the prognosis of it returning to normal.  In surgeries like this, there will always be pain and swelling and numbness, but if there is damage or a change in the face or smile, you need to visit your doctor again so he can see your son's smile. With surgery like this, the doctor should have explained there could be some potential of nerve damage which may or may not be get better over time. I DO NOT believe you should say nothing and wait because you had confidence in the surgeon and you are worried about your son. If your surgeon is good he will have no problem at all in helping ease your worry about the dropped smile and explain the healing process to you and if there is anything you can do that would help it along!

Smile down on one side.

I would call the oral surgeon and explain it to him and ask what to expect and see if he want's to see the patient. I am an orthodontist and if it was a treatment where I had been involved in the process I would  want to be called also.   In surgical treatments there is some potential for unfavorable nerve responses wheather sensory or motor, sometimes resulting in numbness or occosional movement disorders.   These effects often go away later but not always.

Clark L. Jones, DDS, MSD
Phoenix Orthodontist

Jaw Surgery for craniofacial deformities take time to heal

As a Maxillofacial surgeon who does alot of this type of surgery, I would ask you to speak directly to your surgeon. If he had an open bite then he more than likely had orthodontics first and then when he was deemed ready by the team of orthodontist and surgeon, got ready for surgery. This is a very time intensive and planned surgery so hopefully your surgeon will be able to answer your questions and reassure you that his smile will be back to normal soon! There is much healing that needs to take place and so at 10 days it is way too early to tell much so dont worry, evaluating now will only get your already shy son, more disturbed. If you had the confidence in the surgeon to do such a complicated surgery then trust your insticts!

Bernard Ian Krupp, DDS
Baltimore Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.