Orthognathic surgery, or jaw surgery, is how our doctors correct the irregularities of the jawbones while also realigning the jaws and the teeth for a better bite and improved appearance. This corrective jaw surgery fixes skeletal abnormalities of the face and the jaw and can also be performed to fix the airways for those suffering from sleep apnea.
Problems With Your TMJ’s (Jaw Joint)
A malpositioned jaw (where the bones don’t line up correctly) leads to damage to the joints or other facial structures, resulting in TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction and even breathing issues.
Your jaw joints are actually quite complex. They are located on either side of your head, connecting the jaw to the skull and making it possible for your chewing muscles to work as they should. You might hear a popping or clicking sound when you open and close your jaw. You may even possibly experience pain or lockjaw. A bite that far off tends to worsen over time instead of resolving itself without intervention.
Do You Have the Following?
- Do you grind your teeth or clench your jaw when you are stressed or sleeping?
- Have you had a disease that impacted your jaw joint?
- Have you had trauma to the jaw in the past?
- Do you have arthritis in your jaw?
- Have you had an injury to the jaw joint or muscle ligaments in the jaw?
A temporomandibular joint replacement procedure can help fix your jaw issues if you have had severe damage to the joint. This surgical procedure replaces the damaged joints with an artificial prosthetic joint thanks to state-of-the-art technology, materials and our doctor’s skills.
TMJ Surgery Benefits
- Create facial symmetry by correcting an underbite, overbite or crossbite
- Fix how your bite fits so your jaw can comfortably close
- Fix issues with your speech and swallowing
- Help you bite and chew more easily
- Help your lips to comfortably close all the way
- Provide relief for obstructive sleep apnea
- Reduce the wear and tear on teeth by protecting tooth enamel
- Relieve pain caused by temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder and other jaw problems
- Repair facial injury or birth defects
TMJ Surgery for Sleep Apnea Relief
If you are experiencing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA; where you chronically have a disrupted sleep pattern along with low blood oxygen levels), your body will continually be stressed, and your health can worsen. If you have tried or are not a good candidate for a CPAP device or an oral appliance, jaw surgery may help.
During OSA, your tongue may fall back against the rear of your throat, effectively blocking your upper airway and stopping the airflow. As your brain oxygen levels diminish, it triggers your body to wake up to gasp for air. As you do this throughout the night, you get airflow but also heavily interrupted sleep which is detrimental for your overall health over time. Your brain becomes sluggish, your mood irritable and depressed. Your heart can be impacted with chronic unmanaged sleep apnea as well. Or perhaps you have Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS), preventing a healthy nights’ sleep.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons can work with you to find the right treatment for your needs. Your maxillofacial region will be evaluated, and your history and your anatomy as it relates to your jaw will be considered. Jaw X-rays will be done to see how the obstruction is happening, and a sleep study may be advised. The goal will be to reposition the jaw so that the airways remain open. If your airway is too narrow, Maxillomandibular Advancement Surgery may be recommended.
When it comes to problems with the jaw or your airway, surgery may be a good solution to help you speak, chew, bite, move your jaw easier and sleep better and without pain. Call our team today if you have questions or concerns about your jaw or your sleep behavior. We are happy to schedule a consultation, so you get the jaw relief you need!