Home Blog Jaw Surgery Why Corrective Jaw Surgery is Often Necessary

Why Corrective Jaw Surgery is Often Necessary

The jaw is involved in our most essential and vital behaviors from communication, expression, and consumption.

Because the jaw is composed of two separate bones, the upper and lower jaw, or maxilla and mandible, there is the potential for malocclusion – or the bones to become misaligned and malfunction. When this happens, the patient experiences chronic, often severe pain, which can lead to a wide variety of secondary symptoms such as earaches, headaches, malnutrition, to name but a few.

Corrective jaw surgery is the process of realigning the jawbones into a setting that enables them to function correctly without pain or discomfort.

Here, Dr. Derrick Gale of Gale Facial Plastics in Riverton, UT, examines what malocclusion is, the problems it causes, and its solutions.

What is Malocclusion?

Malocclusion is a medical term that means “jaws that are not aligned correctly.” Misaligned jaws can arise due to an injury, a congenital disability, or simply that the jaw didn’t develop properly during the patient’s early stages of growth.

In a properly functioning mouth, when a patient closes their jaw, the upper and lower jaw molars at the back of the mouth fit together and the upper teeth at the front of the mouth sit slightly over the bottom set.

However, problems arise when the lower and upper jawbones are out of alignment, causing a protruding chin, underbite, or a recessed chin, resulting in an overbite.

Both these scenarios can be harrowing and also impact the aesthetic appearance of the face.

How Corrective Jaw Surgery Fixes the Problem

The lower face and jaw’s anatomy is incredibly complex, meaning it takes specialized training and experience to reconstruct the lower jaw.

There are several different approaches reconstructive surgeons can take to corrective jaw surgery, each depending on the individual patient’s requirements. Corrective jaw surgery is often the only solution to such problems.

Upper jaw (maxillary osteotomy)

In some cases, your surgeon approaches corrective jaw surgery by operating on the upper part of the jaw. Your surgeon will focus on the upper jaw in the event of a receding or protruding upper jaw, crossbite, open bite, or reduced mid-face developmental growth.

Lower jaw (mandibular osteotomy)

Some jaw surgeries require the surgeon to operate on the lower jaw, generally involving making cuts in the bone behind the molars where your surgeon can extend or reduce the lower jaw bone.

Chin surgery (genioplasty)

Whereas the upper and lower jaw surgeries are more focused on entire jaw function and correcting dental issues, chin augmentation generally helps patients with a small chin and is more of a cosmetic procedure.

Corrective Jaw Surgery in Riverton and Salt Lake City, Utah

Corrective jaw surgery is a demanding procedure, which is why only highly-trained specialists are qualified to undertake such operations. For those patients suffering from a misaligned jaw leading to pain, corrective jaw surgery is likely one of the only available solutions.

We invite you to arrange a commitment-free consultation with Dr. Gale by calling 801 506-6344 or by filling out this online form to speak with one of the best in the business regarding fixing your jaw issues.