Reconstructive and Orthognathic Surgery
Proper growth of the jaw is a complex process and problems can occur, which may require surgery to resolve.
Unbalanced Jaw Growth
Abnormal growth of the jaw can result in problems with the alignment of teeth, speech and even chewing. To compensate for the misalignment of the jaw, it may force the tongue and lips to move in an awkward fashion, while trying to accomplish swallowing or speaking.
This can cause speech defects, an improper bite and excessive breathing through the mouth. Additionally, jaws of significantly different size can affect the jaw joint and have negative consequences on personal appearance.
To correct the problems associated with unbalanced jaw growth it can require surgery and orthodontic treatments, such as braces. Surgery is focused on shifting the upper and lower jaw into the proper position, while orthodontic treatments are for properly aligning the teeth.
Treatment is prescribed with the intention of restoring function and achieving balance of the facial area. If the jaw is too large or cheekbones are not properly aligned, surgery may be required to change the positioning of the bones and restore symmetry to the face.
Once the bones are repositioned, this normally fixes any prior issues with swallowing, speech or breathing. However, there is usually a period of healing needed, which may require the jaws to be fastened together using wires or bands, which are fastened to the teeth. In some cases, plates and screws may be used, which allow the opening and closing of the jaw. The method utilized will depend on a patient’s specific problem and what is required to fix the issue.
Address the Problem Early
It is normally much easier to fix jaw problems at earlier ages. If you think you might have an issue with your jawbones being out of balance, teeth not aligning properly or you have a concern about facial symmetry it is important to speak with a maxillofacial surgeon. A maxillofacial surgeon can give you a range of options and answer all your questions with a recommended course of action to fix your particular issue.