Jaw (Orthognathic) Surgery

Jaw surgery is performed by Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons to correct a wide range of skeletal and dental irregularities, including the misalignment of jaws and teeth. Corrective surgery can improve chewing, speaking and breathing. While the patient's appearance may be dramatically improved as a result of their surgery, jaw surgery is primarily performed to correct functional problems.

Following are some of the conditions that may indicate the need for corrective jaw surgery:

  • Difficulty chewing, or biting food
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chronic jaw or jaw (TM) joint pain, and headache
  • Excessive wear of the teeth
  • Open bite (space between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed)
  • Unbalanced facial appearance from the front, or side
  • Facial injury, or birth defects
  • Receding chin
  • Protruding jaw
  • Inability to make the lips meet without straining
  • Chronic mouth breathing, and dry mouth
  • Sleep apnea (breathing problems when sleeping, including snoring)

Who Needs Corrective Jaw Surgery?
People who may benefit from corrective jaw surgery include those with an improper bite resulting from misaligned teeth and/or jaws. In some cases, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. Injuries and birth defects may also affect jaw alignment. While orthodontics can usually correct bite, or "occlusion," problems when only the teeth are misaligned, corrective jaw surgery may be necessary to correct misalignment of the jaws.