- Pain: 0/10
- Inconvenience: 0/10
Have you ever bitten clear through a sandwich? How about a piece of pizza? What about a hot dog? Let me tell you something: It is absolutely incredible! The mere fact that I no longer have to tear through my food like some rabid beast makes this entire ordeal well worth the time, money and discomfort. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I never knew how simple chewing was until now. It almost makes me speechless. I understand that this sounds ridiculous to those of you who were blessed with a working set of teeth, but I’d like you to know that you’re lucky. Very lucky.
As promised, I’ve returned with my before and after photos. While the change may not appear to be that great, it has made a huge difference in my life.
I had another appointment with my surgeon since we last crossed paths and he left me with the following statements:
- Feeling should hopefully commence its long journey home to my bottom lip over the next 3-6 months.
- The feeling I’m left with after 18 months is what I’ll live with for the rest of my life.
- I can choose to correct my open bite enough by wearing elastics until early next year, or I can opt for another surgery to bring my molars together.
I’ve eaten everything from pasta to cereal to salad to steak. In fact, the only item I’m still unable to chew at this point is a peanut (or any kind of nut, for that matter). They’re a little too solid just yet. Despite my open bite, I’ve been chewing on both sides of my mouth, but eating something like a steak becomes quite an exhausting activity. It doesn’t keep me from eating steak every single weekend though. I’m also able to chew gum again, which I’m grateful for, considering its my one and only addiction in this world.
I even got to experience chattering teeth again on one of our cold mornings! That, however, felt less than amazing.
I know my bone is completely healed because I’ve already taken several falls landing directly on my face and had no problems at all. On a seemingly unrelated note, never let the handlebars of your bike hit a tree while riding, because that very bike will launch off the trail. And then, whether you like it or not, you’ll get to experience all the excitement of doing a flip. I’m not saying that happened to me but, well, that definitely happened to me.
The Fortress of Ensure collapsed on July 12th when I attempted to add another can to its spire. About 15 people came from every corner of the office when they heard the crash. I recycled every last piece of rubble, donating over $6 of free cans to the company. The offending building block was a can of Sun Tropics Mango juice. I imagine people will one day share tales of The Great Collapse with their grandchildren, but they’ll be referring to the Fortress of Ensure instead of the Mayan civilization.
My one last piece of advice to anyone who has recently taken part in this party we like to call jaw surgery is this: Above all else, give your body time to recover. Eventually, you’ll stop chewing on your own cheeks and lips. You’ll naturally adjust to your new mouth and you’ll be very grateful for the ability to chew properly. It took me almost a full month before I could eat a meal without accidentally eating part of my own face.
I’ll likely make one more post in approximately six months detailing the final outcome of this little adventure. Until next time!
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Note from Graham — After 4+ years of responding to each and every comment, question, and experience shared in this community, I must humbly step down from this task due to other life commitments. I've provided answers to the most common questions here (last updated July 20, 2014). Please continue sharing your stories in these comments for the benefit of future patients, and thank you so much for joining me on this journey. Cheers!