Common Questions (FAQ)

Before the surgery:

After the surgery:

Cries for help:

Why should I get jaw surgery?

There are several reasons to undergo jaw surgery:

  • To be able to chew with all your teeth
  • To speak without a lisp
  • To speak without spitting
  • To stop your mouth from hanging open
  • To stop breathing through your mouth and start breathing through your nose
  • To change your appearance (side profile)

These reasons are all explained on the Reasons to Get Jaw Surgery page.

Is jaw surgery painful?

Jaw surgery is usually not painful. This may be difficult to believe, but since your nerves become bruised and numb during the surgery, you don’t actually feel any of the pain. By the time feeling returns to your face, most of the pain is gone.

Granted, you’ll experience a bit of pain when you yawn, sneeze and cough. It’ll also hurt when your jaw spasms (and it will spasm for the first month), but for the most part, you should not experience much pain at all.

How long does it take to recover from jaw surgery?

It will take 90 days (3 months) for a full recovery after jaw surgery. Most of your feeling and energy will be back after 2 months, but it takes a full 90 days for your bone to fuse back together. A full range of motion in your jaw will return depending on how much you’re moving it around, so make sure you follow the exercises your surgeon gives you.

How much does jaw surgery cost?

Jaw surgery costs roughly $5000 in Canada, but that price may differ significantly in other provinces and countries. If your surgery is deemed cosmetic (instead of “medically necessary”), the cost will be higher because you’ll be required to cover the hospital bills. Sadly, patients in the US have seen jaw surgery bills in excess of $50,000.

After the surgery

Will I look different after jaw surgery?

You will notice subtle changes in your appearance following jaw surgery. Your overbite/underbite will no longer be present and your cheeks, nose, and chin may take on a different shape as well. My cheeks filled out a lot as a result of my surgery.

How much weight will I lose after jaw surgery?

Most people lose between 5–10 pounds during the first month of their recovery. The general rule of thumb is that you will lose weight until you reach your natural body weight.

Will I experience numbness after jaw surgery?

Yes, you will experience extreme numbness following jaw surgery. During the operation, several nerves in your face and chin have to be moved around. When you move a nerve, it becomes bruised, and when a nerve is bruised, it stops providing sensations, thus giving you that numb feeling (more on this in my Day 20 post).

Will I get all of my feeling back after jaw surgery?

70% of patients regain full feeling, while 30% may experience slightly numb areas in their cheeks, chin and lower lip for the rest of their lives. The feeling you have after 6 months post-op is likely what you’ll live with for the rest of your life.

What can I eat after jaw surgery?

You’ll be on a strict liquid diet following jaw surgery. Buy lots of Boost, Ensure or Carnation supplements and learn to make smoothies, because these will be your staple foods for at least the first 2 weeks. I had to eat them for 8 weeks, but my surgery was a bit more invasive than most. You’ll probably have to administer your food through a syringe for the first week as well.

Once your surgeon gives you permission to start chewing again, you can begin to eat soft foods such as pasta and mashed potatoes. During the weeks following your re-entry into the realm of chewing, you’ll be able to eat whatever is comfortable. Don’t expect to tear into a steak as soon as you’re allowed to chew again, though.

If you have the following implements, you should survive perfectly fine:

  • A reliable blender (this is extremely important, as you’ll be blending almost everything)
  • Smoothie materials (ice cream, yogurt, milk, bananas, strawberries, granola, peanut butter, honey, etc.) — Recipe
  • Soup (you’ll have to blend everything except tomato soup)
  • Ensure, Boost or Carnation (I drank 3 of these per day during my liquid diet phase)
  • Prune juice (you’ll need the fiber in it)
  • Whole milk (you’ll need all the calcium you can get so your bones heal back just as strong as they were before)
  • Water (make sure you drink at least 1 L of water per day; drinking 2 L per day is a much better option)

The most important item on that list is water. If you don’t drink enough water each day, you’ll become dehydrated and sick, and your bowel movements won’t feel good because none of the fiber you’re eating will dissolve into your body.

Cries for help

Help, I’m experiencing pain!

If your pain is chronic (ie. consistent and throbbing), you may have an infection and should schedule a visit with your surgeon just to be safe.

On the other hand, if your pain comes in small bouts, it’s likely your nerves reawakening or your teeth being pulled by the elastics. In this case, just be patient and the pain will subside in due time. If you were prescribed pain medication, that may help as well.

Help, my breath is terrible!

At times, your breath may be indicative of the fact that you are not allowed to brush your teeth or floss during the first several weeks of recovery. To aid in freshening your breath, try gurgling with warm salt water a few times each day. Soon enough, you’ll be given the go-ahead to brush and floss again.

Help, my teeth are no longer touching!

An open bite is a common problem following jaw surgery. Fear not, however, because your teeth will naturally grow until they encounter opposition (in the form of your other jaw), so this problem will slowly correct itself over time.

Help, my jaw movement is not returning!

If you have been given the green light to resume eating regular food, but the movement in your jaw doesn’t seem to be returning, try whistling and chewing gum each day. Whistling will help to break up scar tissue, while chewing gum will stretch the muscles in your jaw.

Help, I don’t look like myself anymore!

This is perhaps the most common fear people have following jaw surgery. Remember that swelling takes a minimum of 3 months to go away, so try to avoid judging your appearance until that point.

Also, keep in mind that you are your own worst critic because you’ve been seeing your face in the mirror every single day for most of your life. While the subtle changes in your appearance seem drastic to you, most people will not even notice that your face changed shape.


588 Comments on “Common Questions (FAQ)”

  1. coolguy1812 July 27, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    Hey Graham, Orest here from Winnipeg, MB. I had a similar surgery to yours on June 23 but I do have one question: Did you have your jaw wired shut for the first 6 weeks. From reading a few of your earlier posts, it seems you went to tight elastics relatively soon after surgery? Not sure why I’m Required to have jaw wired shut instead of elastics but anyways I like your blog and hopefully you can eat better food now and be able to chew with your front teeth,

  2. Graham July 27, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    Hi Orest,

    I wasn’t wired shut, but I had tight elastics on right out of surgery, and couldn’t start taking them off for about a month or so.

    So even though I wasn’t technically “wired” shut, I still couldn’t open my mouth or part my teeth at all. Different approach, same result.

    They’ll let you open your mouth after 2-4 weeks (I’m guessing).

    Good luck!

  3. coolguy1812 July 28, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    Ah makes sense then, I was beginning to think my oral surgeon was old school with metal wires. Well I got 16 Days till Mouth is opened, wires off and tight elastics go on. And apparently I can eat whatever I like at that point (according to doctor) but I am somewhat skeptical.
    At your 6.5 Week point after surgery, what was your diet like??

  4. Graham July 28, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    Well, I was on liquid for almost 10 weeks, but if your surgeon says you can eat after 6.5 weeks, then give it a try.

    I just couldn’t bite hard enough to chew anything at that point, but everyone is different.

  5. Justin August 4, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    I really appreciate you documenting your journey, it’s been really helpful. I actually received your EXACT same surgery. The only differences that I can see is that my underbite was more severe than yours, and my doctor also used some synthetic materials to paste onto one of my cheekbones to make it even with the other (they were uneven as a result of the surgery).

    My only question is this: how long did it take until you stopped drooling? I received my surgery on July 15, and although I don’t expect to stop drooling at this point, I am a bit worried about starting school at the end of September. Do you think the numbness will be more manageable by then?

    Again, thanks a lot for this whole blog.

    – Justin

  6. Graham August 5, 2010 at 12:41 am #

    Hi Justin,

    I can’t recall exactly when I stopped drooling, but you’ll definitely be alright by the time September rolls around.

    You’ll still have to eat slowly and be careful (and always keep a paper towel handy!), but you should be able to feel civilized again by that 6-week mark.

    Take care man!

  7. Natasha August 22, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    Hi Graham,

    So I’ll be getting correction jaw surgery in December. I’m a little worried about some things but mostly about the recovery and the weight loss. I’m seventeen and I’m a small girl and I only weigh about 115 pounds. I’m just worried I’ll loose too much weight.

    Also about the recovery.. Did you have pretty major swelling? I know it’s not at all the same, but when I got my wisdom teeth out I had no swelling but everyone else I know did. So do you think it effects people very differently and some get more swelling than others.

    Sorry I have tons of questions but one more. Did your mouth spasm at all when it was wired shut? I’ve heard that it does usually and I’m wondering if it’s really painful?

    Thank you
    Natasha A.

  8. Graham August 22, 2010 at 1:12 am #

    Hi Nathasha, nice to meet you!

    I hope you get to eat Christmas dinner before you have the surgery performed. That would be torture otherwise!

    I, like you, had no swelling when my wisdom teeth were removed. I did, however, swell up like crazy when I had jaw surgery. It’s a pretty crazy impact to your face, so massive swelling is a given. It goes away though, so no worries. You’ll probably be relatively swollen for about 2 months.

    And yes, my jaw spasmed quite frequently when I was banded shut. I’d say I had between 4-5 spasms per day. They were painful, but only for mere seconds. They’re also completely normal and will go away in 4-6 weeks.

    All pain aside, the most difficult part of the recovery is having to live off of liquids for a month or two. Most of this recovery is a mental game, so as long as you keep a positive attitude, you’ll do absolutely fine!

    Take care. =)

  9. Rebecca August 24, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    I haven’t had any of these painful spasms that I’ve heard about.. Just tingles. The tingles drive me absolutely insane but they don’t hurt.

    However… i’m on day 21 and i’m still taking ibuprofen every 4 hours and a tylenol 3 or vicodin once a day to control the pain. Its like when you get your braces seriously tightened and your whole mouth just aches. blahh Did you experience that? when were you able to stop taking painkillers?

  10. Graham August 24, 2010 at 10:26 pm #

    Hi Rebecca! I stopped taking painkillers after 2 weeks, but I’m a little stubborn. You’re lucky you don’t have the spasms. They’re crazy painful!

    I primarily used hot packs for my pain. I found I could fall asleep pretty quickly if I was laying on one.

  11. Tamara September 13, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    You’re prices are a little off, either that or my oral surgeron is super expensive.

    I had lower jaw surgery (BSSO) to bring my jaw forward and up and it costed me $5500. At his office to have a double jaw surgery it would cost $9000.

  12. Madison September 23, 2010 at 4:34 am #

    I did not lose a single pound during my first month! I guess my body thought I was starving with Boost and held onto my fat–but it still sucked. Also my surgery cost 9,000 for jus upper surgery, because my insurance wouldn’t cover it plus 3,000 for my braces–the kicker here is I HATE the way I look, and I went to the “best” surgeon. I was happy with how I looked before (my teeth just touched and my enamle was wearing away I was told that I needed this)not to be cocky but I had a wonderful smile (I would always get complements)and I would like of myself as pretty. Everyone said that I wouldn’t really notice a difference, NO one told me that my nose would tilt up and that my I would be able to feel the bone of my upper jaw. I spent my whole savings on something that everyone told me I would be sooooo happy with, and now I look worse and I’m getting married in 8 months!!!!!!!!!! Well I’m not giving up, I’m going to get this fixed–hell if I know how, or if it will be done in time for the wedding. Sorry I just needed to rant, thanks for the spot to rant.

  13. Graham September 23, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    Madison, that doesn’t sound good at all! I definitely didn’t like the way I looked after the surgery either, but I’ve gotten used to my appearance now. I’m not sure if I looked “better” before or after–I just look different.

    Here’s hoping everything works out for you! I understand that every experience is different, but I’ve not met too many people who weren’t happy with the results.

    Best of luck, my friend!

  14. Kirk October 14, 2010 at 12:48 am #

    I’m 6 weeks out from jaw surgery and everything seems to be going as planned. I did have to have the surgery twice as the next morning my 4 surgeons checked me and my lower jaw had slipped so at 4 that afternoon I had another surgery. My jaw was wired shut which sucked and the bite plate or splint was okay but I talked funny, it is now off. I still have a great deal of numbness on the roof of my mouth and lower lip and chin. I lost 10 pounds but I have a fast metabolism anyway even at 44 years old. The surgery cost me $0 so that was nice any every cent I had to pay was reimbursed. I still sleep on my chair as it is comfortable but slowly I’m using the bed more. I took a month off of work and came back with all of my vacation time, every hour. I’m super super lucky and lets hope everything goes well. I waited 17 months to get the surgery and still have a year of ortho and an implant and plenty of dental work but I asked for it so I’m good. I have several good doctors and my HMO takes good care of me. I just started eating some solid foods yesterday and it is still tough to retrain myself with my new bite but again that should change as the numbness goes away and I think it is. I remember after surgery that it was tough some days and I had to take it a minute at a time some days and just get through it. I had a lot of face swelling and the gross halo bruise on the chest that turns yellow but it is now gone. I carry a cooler with me at all times and drink tons of different beverages to keep hydrated and change things up a bit, sick of Boost and Ensure but they did me right when I needed them. My advice is take it slow and take any help you can get and just let the body heal itself, take care of you and you will get the best results. I still feel so good from eating that soup tonight and some grapes and I cant wait to really start chowing on some food like I used too. I have a huge appreciation for food now and can’t wait to cook some wonderful meals for my family. For some reason I want a philly cheese steak sandwich and some salmon, go figure. Stay positive and help you body heal, you really gave it a hammering and now you have to give it a break.

  15. Graham October 14, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    Kirk, that’s fantastic advice! You sound like you were pretty in control with your entire recovery!

    And two surgeries… that’s crazy! Good luck with the last few weeks of your recovery.

  16. Kirk October 14, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    I have a story from the Hospital.
    I woke up from a drug-induced stupor and standing before me was a beautiful blond hair blue eye woman dressed in white. The light from the hall was behind her so she had a glow. I really thought that it was my day and I was glad an angel had come to get me and she was beautiful. She leaned down and started checking my mouth and I then woke up to the fact that getting into heaven doesn’t require a dental exam. So I’m laying there swollen like I just did 10 rounds with Mike Tyson, a water mask on my face to reduce swelling, hair was in all directions and I have no idea if my gown was covering anything and for the most part I didn’t care. In my best jaw wired shut, drugged up stupor I asked her: “Rar Ru a Roctor?” ( I sounded like scooby-do) She then smiled and stepped back to explain she was a surgical intern and assisted in my surgery. I was happy that my gown did not present a tent as it had in recovery which my wife said I was trying to show everyone, don’t remember that, scouts honor. I did see her (the doctor) the next day and she was just as beautiful as ever. I told this story to my Surgeon during a post op visit and he laughed like heck.
    Good times
    Take care

  17. Lisa October 26, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    Thanks for your post…I had surgery on Oct. 7th. Surgery went well, but the recovery has been very painful. I had read many post and no one really talked about the jaw spasms. My jaw had the spasms you wrote about (still have a couple a day), I was so worried that this was not normal, glad to hear it is and that it will go away soon. It will be three weeks on Thursday..looking forward to my 6 week appt…hopefully I can eat more foods.


  18. Graham October 26, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    Hey Lisa!

    Yeah, those spasms were one of the worst parts of the recovery. The other killer was smiling/laughing because my lip would split wide open every single time. I’m happy to report that those are both normal problems though and they go away as quickly as they came. =)

    Keep smiling (but maybe just on the inside for now, hehe)!

  19. Lisa October 27, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Hi Graham,
    Did you get the spasms when you fell asleep….that seems to be when I get them the most now. As soon as I fall asleep my mouth spasms and wakes me is very rare that I get a good nights sleep. I have a temporary mouth guard that goes between my back teeth, seems to help some.

    I got unbanded 6 days after surgery, but now I have to wear 2 bands (one on each side), did you wear these? how long? My jaw is feeling a lot better, but now my teeth ache/throb 24/7. I go back to surgen in a week…I really hope he tells me I don’t have to wear them anymore.

    take care

  20. Graham October 27, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    Yeah, those spasms woke me up as well. It was a solid month before I finally had a good night’s sleep.

    And I’m still wearing my bands! My orthodontist wants me to wear them until my braces come off. But that’s only because my bite is open.

  21. Caryn_B248 November 15, 2010 at 9:15 am #

    Hey, I’m new to this whole jaw surgery thing… I got told a couple of weeks ago that I would need to have lower jaw surgery for my teeth to ever be straight and I have recently had quite a lot of pain from my jaw. If I had the surgery done, would I have to have my jaw wired shut and would I beep going through a metal detector?? Haha 😛

  22. Graham November 15, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    Hey Caryn,

    You’ll have to ask your surgeon about having your jaw wired shut. I think your jaw is usually bound with elastics for the first week or so at least.

    Metal detectors won’t be a problem. Although that would be fun. 😉

  23. JessicaNB November 25, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    I am on day 10 of my jaw surgury. I had my upper jaw moved up (to prevent showing gum when I smile) and my lower jaw moved forward to correct my bite,and my wisdom teeth pulled..all at once! I did not do a lot of research prior to surgury or ask a lot of questions. I new it was a part of my orthodontic treatment and I didn’t want to scare myself out of surgury.
    My first week was awful!! I was so weak and sick to my stomac. I am completley elastic shut so I am constantly trying to find things that I can drink through a straw other then tomatoe soup and juices. I AM STARVING! I have lost 10 pounds since my surgury and am running out of ideas to drink. Does anyone have any great warm/cold smoothie ideas??

    Like others have said here, I also have the tingleing/ burning sensation, mostly in my chin. The doc told me today that tinling and burning is a GREAT sign!!! It means that the nerves are repairing.

    The roughest part of this experince is not being able to eat anything! Only liquids that can fit through a straw. I suffered no pain just a lot of disconfort.

  24. Graham November 25, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

    Jessica, I remember being hungry for a solid 7-8 weeks following surgery, so don’t expect anything amazing just yet. It’s just a symptom of living in the developed part of the world–we’re so used to eating to our heart’s content that we feel hungry when we only eat what our bodies actually need. :-)

    The only smoothie I made is described here:

    It’s both tasty AND fills you up (providing you have 3 or 4 of them).

  25. stan November 29, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    Thanks Graham. Your site is awesome. I have been waiting for last 7-8 years to do this surgery and i was scared so much. Now after reading through your post i am feeling more confident and planning to do it next year.

  26. Graham November 29, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    Hi Stan, glad to hear it helped! Good luck next year. Be sure to let me know if you have any questions. =)

  27. j December 4, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    hey! im just starting my orthodontics and will be having my double jaw surgery in a years time. i was just wondering if its possible to play sports such as football or basketball, or even boxing when the jaw has completely healed.

  28. Graham December 5, 2010 at 1:43 am #

    j, once you’re completely healed, your jaw will be just as strong as before, so you can play whatever sports you like. Just make sure you wait until you’re completely healed up!

  29. Jason December 5, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    Hey Graham, thanks for posting about your recovery. It’s good to know that it’s all manageable. I’m having the same procedure done in about a week. I have a similar question to j’s. I’m really active and am hoping to get back into that ASAP after this is done. Mostly I run- not likely to hit my face doing that. How long was it until you could do that again?

  30. Graham December 5, 2010 at 10:58 pm #

    I was playing Ultimate Frisbee and baseball about 6 weeks after surgery, but they don’t recommend things like that until the 3 month mark.

    If you’re a young, active guy, you’ll have a lot of energy back within 6 weeks though.

  31. Ken December 20, 2010 at 4:48 am #

    Hey Graham, amazing site. My 22 year old daughter had double jaw surgery last Tuesday. Today is day 6 and her lips are still very swollen. Most other swelling has started to decline.Does this seem normal to you?

  32. Ashley December 20, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    Hey Graham! :) My surgery date was 12/17/10, so that puts me at 3 days post-op. I just want to thank you for making this website – your humor and optimism really make the healing process so much easier, and of course, it helps to know that I’m not alone in this! Right now, I’m enjoying just vegging out on the couch… the meds they have me on make me pretty tired, so at least I can nap during the day.

    Besides Campbell’s Chunky Soup, were there any other savory, blend-able foods you would recommend (anything with meat)? It’s difficult to keep my calories up when I only want to drink my food. I may end up with my own mountain of Ensure soon enough :)

    Again, thanks for making this site and for all of your encouragement. Your results look amazing, and good luck with anything you may encounter!

  33. Graham December 20, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    Ken, that sounds perfectly normal, yes. Swelling peaks during the 3rd and 4th days and will slowly subside after that. My swelling took several months to go away completely.

    She’ll be a lot happier about 2 weeks from now. :-)

  34. Graham December 20, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    Hi Ashley,

    First off, enjoy the downtime! Even though it’s uncomfortable, we don’t get enough time to relax these days.

    My diet consisted solely of fruit smoothies and Chunky soup up until my splint was removed and I could start chewing again. I tried blending a hamburger patty once, and liver another time, but they were both pretty unpleasant to eat. The taste is good, but the texture is pretty difficult to get over.

    That’s personal preference though. You should give it a try. The worst that can happen is you realize you’re not a fan and then you can fall victim to the power of Ensure. 😀

  35. frankeye December 22, 2010 at 4:33 am #

    I just had the surgery on dec 15, 2010 at 34 years old…I never realized how dfficult being on a liquid diet during the holidays would be, I am managing being a mom and dealing.Thanks so much for your blog. It helps those of us who need a little added support and reference. I was having a pity party there for awhile and am doing better. thanks so much!

  36. Graham December 23, 2010 at 1:25 am #

    Hi frankeye,

    The liquid diet during the holidays is definitely a disappointment, but just think about how amazing next Christmas will be! 😉

    Enjoy your new smile in the new year!

  37. lindsay January 8, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    Hi, first I want to ty for posted about ur surgery… Like u, I to need double jaw surgery… I will admit that as the days get closer to just having my consult, i’ve become worried and all these thoughts are running through my head,and im hoping that having my consult on the 18th of the month wont turn me away out of fear.. Reading ur blog along with others comments makes me both excited and afraid.. Ive had my braces on for 2 yrs 4 mths and now im suppose to have a leforte 1 with mid line split plus some other stuff.. The reason for my surgery isnt only for my teeth, its for my breathing as well… HAS ANYONE ELSE HAD THIS ISSUE?? When u went for your consult what did they do? And did ur insurance company give ur surgion a run around??? People have told me,(included my orthodontist) that the insurance companies try to deny the claim bc they make it out to be cosmetic, had u had any problems getting approved? After surgery was it extremely hard , i ask this bc i have a 20 mth old and she really is a handful and I honestly dont have much help around me… Sorry if these answers are in any of the above comments, but i hadnt read all of them…. also they did a nice job on u 😉

  38. Graham January 8, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

    Hey Lindsay,

    I had the surgery performed in Canada, so the province covered about 80% of it right off the bat. I ended up paying around $5000.

    My breathing was affected as well. I’m really glad I underwent this operation because breathing, talking and chewing are all much easier now.

    As far as your little one, it will most definitely be difficult because you’ll likely be unable to speak (or do much of anything) for at least 2-3 weeks. You may want to seek out some help from a family member for the first few weeks of your recovery.

    Try to find a past client of your surgeon’s to ask them about their experience. Best of luck!

  39. diana January 11, 2011 at 1:18 am #

    I’m about to go ointo surgery & I’m scared what’s spasms & shhut tight?

  40. Graham January 11, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    Spasms are completely normal, so when they occur, don’t fret too much.

    You’ll likely be wired shut for a couple of weeks, but you can still drink things like soup and smoothies. It’s more of a frustration game than anything else.

    Best of luck!

  41. lindalou January 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    hi!! your website is fantastic and you look fabulous!! I am having surgery on January 19th- upper and lower. I had an open bite, which is now more of an overbite due to the braces and removal of two bottom teeth but no upper teeth.

    I am most worried about being wired shut, more than anything. What if you have to yawn, sneeze, cough….. did any of those situations cause pain? And I cannot even imagine what it’s going to be like not being able to blow my nose.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I feel so much better reading all of your day to day updates.

  42. Graham January 11, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    Hi Lindalou!

    Being wired shut is certainly a frustrating part of the surgery, but it’s over pretty quick. You’ll have your wires cut pretty early on and then you can being speaking and, ya’know, breathing again!

    I’ll be thinking of you next Wednesday. Have a blissful sleep that day. :-)

  43. lindalou January 13, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    Thank you for your words of encouragement!!!! I’ve started a blog- my first ever. Yours has helped me so much- maybe mine will help someone too. :)
    Here’s the site if you want to check on my progress in the next couple weeks:

  44. Graham January 13, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    Hey lindalou,

    I see you just received all those fancy hooks from your orthodontist. Once you start eating again, you’re going to have quite a lot of fun picking fun out of them, hehe.

    I hope you’re staying positive and finding a way to get some food down!

  45. junhee January 29, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Hi Graham,
    I’m a 17 year old girl whose had a crossbite all her life. My teeth are perfect just for the couple of bottom teeth that are in front of my top teeth. To imagine what it looks like, from the bottom first canine tooth to the second canine tooth is the area that is over my top teeth. Does that make any sense? Anyways, I REALLY want to fix this because I can’t breathe right and it hurts to open my mouth, yawn or even smile! Would you recommend jaw surgery for this problem? Also would I have to have braces afterwards?

  46. Graham January 29, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

    Hi junhee,

    I have no idea if jaw surgery is the correct operation for your crossbite, but I know it’s helped others with a similar issue.

    You’ll likely need braces both before and after the surgery because they like to make fine-tuned adjustments throughout the process.

    Personally, I’d book a consultation with a surgeon and ask for their professional opinion. :-)

    Best of luck!

  47. chantel January 30, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

    hola graham :)
    i’m 14, from alexandria mn. i am going to i have my meeting with my surgeon on wednesday, & the surgery on the 15th of february. a lot’s running thru my mind, but i’m trying so hard to stay positive about things. i have a few questions.
    -i hate swelling. when will i finally wanna go out of the house?
    -how long do you expect me to miss school for?
    -are you able to chew gum after it’s all done with?
    &- am i gonna feel horrible every day?
    please respond, i’m nervous as heck!

  48. Graham January 31, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    Hey Chantel,

    1) I started going out with people again about 3-4 weeks after surgery. You’ll still be swollen, but you just have to learn to not worry about it. Your face will be back to normal eventually and people care about it less than you think (especially when they find out you just had jaw surgery).

    2) I went back to work 2 weeks later. You won’t be able to talk for 3-4 weeks.

    3) I chew gum all of the time. I love it! So yes, you can most definitely chew gum once you’re healed up.

    4) You’ll feel like garbage for about the first 2 weeks. All should be alright after that.

    Best of luck!

  49. diana February 11, 2011 at 7:52 am #

    Hi Graham my name is Diana I’m 18 and I’m on my 44th day of recovery! I was a very impatient person before this surgery so patience is definatly something I have learned throughout this brutal recovery. I had both jaws done on dec 29th they moved my lower jaw forward and to be honest I don’t know what they did wih my upper because I found out I needed that done a week before surgery it was very emotional lol! I got this surgery done because my smile and bite were off to one side completely my orthodontist asked how did i even chew! My lower jaw apparently stopped growing while my top jaw kept growing causing by bite to be uneven and a lot of pain plus I also had TMJ which caused more pain and i had a lot of migrane headahces I’d stay home from school for wks! Anyway like you I wasn’t wired shut just rubberbands (which are now off) and 6 metal plates so I know what you mean by calling yourself a robot haha. Lately I have been feeling a lot of discomfort my jaw aches a lot, but still trying to chew very soft foods like mac&cheese, mashed potatoes, and i try not to blend chunky soups as much as i used to. I find that my left side is stronger then my right when i chew because my right side one of my top molars aren’t hitting my bottom which my surgeon told me feels like a huge gap to me but it’s actually small. I’m just finding that my left side is easier to chew on then my right. I still can’t open up wide so it’s hard to chew but how long did it take for your mouth to open up completely?

    Reading your blog definatly helped and I wish I found it before my surgery but it’s helping now so thank you so much and I hope you’re enjoying your new smile/bite!!

  50. Graham February 11, 2011 at 8:43 am #

    Hi Diana!

    That’s great to hear that you’re plowing through the soft food already. It’s humorous how excited we get over these baby steps, hey? It’s almost like being a child and learning to eat all over again.

    I couldn’t open my mouth all too wide until past the 3-month mark. My movement is all back to normal now, but it was definitely an ongoing battle until about the 4th month (from what I can remember).

    As for chewing, you’ll probably always have one side that’s stronger than the other. I think most people chew on one side of their mouth anyway.

    Your smile is going to be great! Just give it a few more months!

  51. terriahall February 12, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    i have had lower jaw surgery 17 days ago. i am 61 years old and the swelling is almost gone i am just worried about the numbness from the lower lip chin and teeth. is there anything i can do to help the the chin and lip to recover the the numbness?

  52. Graham February 12, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    I don’t think there’s anything you can do to help the numbness, terriahall. You just need to hope for the best. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you adjust to have a few numb spots in your face, though. I don’t even notice anymore.

  53. Blake March 9, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

    I broke my jaw in a horrible car accident also my neck nose and other bones in my face and spent 3 days on life support and 4 days in a coma. They say that on the 17th i will be switched from the wires to the elastics and maybe no elastics depending on the strength that i still have if i do have on elastics do you know how much strength I will have. and with elastics what will i be able to eat.

  54. Graham March 9, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    Wow, Blake, your story certainly trumps mine. I’m glad that life is beginning to look up for you again.

    I’m not sure how strong your jaw will be with or without elastics. Depending on when you had surgery, you should be regaining a lot of your strength about a month post-op.

    Best of luck in your recovery, pal. You’re a trooper!

  55. abc March 18, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Hi, how long did you have your braces on before the surgery?

  56. Graham March 18, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    I had braces on for a year and a half before surgery and then for 9 months afterwards as well.

  57. Nathan March 21, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

    Wow! What a great site! I am nearly three weeks into my recovery now after double jaw surgery on 3/2. My recovery has been extremely fast and I expect it to continue to be so. I will suggest a couple of things for anyone who is going to have jaw surgery:

    1) Realize that most of your discomfort is in your head. The most important example I can give is that you will feel VERY claustrophobic for the first few days. If you have upper jaw, you won’t be able to breathe through your nose very well and you’ll wonder if you’re getting enough air. Don’t worry, you are, so settle down. Just relax and settle in.

    2) Don’t rush yourself too much. This is something I’ve been and am still fighting with, because I want to be healed right now (I’m not that patient). I speak for a living (sales), and I still have a splint in my mouth which poses some pretty big speaking problems (it’s pretty much impossible to sound normal with a splint in your mouth). Just do what you can without overdoing it (I’m typing this to help myself follow my own advice).

    Lastly, a question:
    1) What is the soonest you’ve heard of someone getting their splint out?

    Thanks for all,

  58. Graham March 21, 2011 at 11:42 pm #

    That’s good advice, man. It’s true, most of the pain we complain about, jaw surgery or not, is in our head. Despite not being able to eat, drink or breathe, life is still pretty grand.

    My friend back home had his splint taken out after 3 weeks, but he only had his upper jaw operated on. For double jaw surgery patients, ~6 weeks of splintdom seems to be the standard practice.

  59. Daryl Thomas March 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Hi, my name is Daryl I am 20 years old. I actually was wired shut and i am currently 4 days from being unwired. About how long after will i be able to eat normal again?

  60. Graham March 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    Hi Daryl,

    It’s different for every person. It took me about 3 weeks after my splint came out before I could eat an actual soft meal again. Some people say they can eat that same night.

    Just let your pain be your guide. If chewing something hurts, chances are you should switch to a softer food.

    Best of luck in your upcoming eating adventures!

  61. Jenny March 24, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    Today is day 45 for me, so according to your doctor’s estimations I am officially halfway through recovery! Yay!

    My own surgeon has made no such estimations, but then I haven’t seen him since before my surgery, but a friend of mine works at the unit at the hospital so he’s going to see if I’m due to have an appointment soon. My orthodontist has said the braces can come off in about six months, so looking forward to that now. And of course the day when I don’t need elastics any more :-)

  62. Graham March 24, 2011 at 10:24 am #

    You’ll definitely be smiling when you get your braces off! All of a sudden your teeth will be whiter, your smile will be bigger, the sky will be bluer…

    Good luck with the last month or so of your recovery!

  63. Brett April 17, 2011 at 8:03 am #

    Hey mate.

    I had lower jaw surgery 5 and a half weeks ago. Had my jaw broken in 3 spots. I havent had any issues. Very minimal bruising. Just one little spot on my chin. Had more where the needles and bone graph from my hip actually. The swelling was a bit and went down to basically nothing in 2 weeks. I get my mouth opened up in 3 days. The only thing is my breath stinks I think. I never had bad breath before. How long do you think this will last with regular brushing and mouth washing? Not keen on having terrible breath.

    Regards Brett

  64. Graham April 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    Hi Brett,

    Glad to hear you didn’t really receive any bruising from the surgery. I was fairly bruise-free as well.

    I feel your pain with the bad breath, brother. (Wow, how’s that for alliteration?!) There’s nothing to worry about though! The moment they open your mouth up again, you can brush, floss and use mouthwash to your heart’s content. Your bad breath will go away as soon as you brush for the first time.

    Your mouth will be a bit tender at first, but it’ll feel great to have minty fresh breath again!

  65. Michelle April 18, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    Surgery is tomorrow!!! So excited, not nervous at all–I am so ready to do this thing! Couldn’t do it without this blog and all you fine people who frequent it! Thanks Graham and to all!

  66. Graham April 18, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    Make sure to eat a good meal tonight. 😛 (Unless, of course, they told you not to, in which case you should simply just sleep to your heart’s content!)

  67. DARNETTA April 20, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    Thanks for your feedback.I had lower jaw surgery on the 5th of April.I had no pain just uncomfortable. I have the tingling and the numbness in my lower lip and chin and most of my swelling is gone, I lost 10lbs and Im stuck on that number, I was hoping to lose more.I get my wires removed a week from today, will I be able to eat mashed potatoes with a spoon you think? I dont get my mouthpiece out until 3 weeks after that, Im hungry LOL.

  68. Graham April 20, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    Darnetta, when I had my bands removed, my surgeon told me to continue following a liquid diet until they took my splint out. Much like you, I was totally stoked to start eating soft foods, but my excitement was in vain.

    Just ask your surgeon what they recommend. My guess is that you’ll be stuck with liquids until you lose the splint though.

    Best of luck!

  69. Eleanor April 30, 2011 at 4:04 pm #


    First off, I’m so glad I found this site! It’s amazingly helpful, but I have a couple of questions I’d like to ask:

    1) How big was the change in your appearance after the surgery? I have a 4mm underbite, with my overbite 2mm behind where it should be, as well as a crossbite – so I’m having the full works! It really affects my self-esteem, so I was just wondering if the surgery alters other parts of the face as well (hopefully for the better!) My nose is sort of flat, and my cheeks are sort of deflated looking – a very strange side profile, let me tell you!

    2) How long, on average, is it that you have to wear braces? I have my first meeting with my surgeon in a couple of weeks, and I’d like to have the surgery asap, but I understand how long it takes to move teeth into place!

    3) How long does it take for the swelling to subside? I can’t bear the thought of staying inside for more than two days tops, but I’d never leave the house with a face like a beach ball.

  70. Graham April 30, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    Hi Eleanor,

    1) Your surgeon will likely rebuild a large portion of your face during the operation. When they move you jaw around, other parts of your face need to be adjusted to maintain shape. The overall shape of your face will be different, but your distinct features will not change. You might not think you look different, but your friends and family will notice the contour changes. Make sure you give yourself time (a month or two) to adjust to your new face. It will be a little weird at first, but you’ll grow to like it. :-)

    2) I wore braces for just over 2 years before surgery and then another 9 months following it. I believe the average is a year pre-op and a year post-op.

    3) Trust me, you’ll cut your losses and leave the house with a swollen face. Most of your swelling will subside within 3 weeks, but you’ll still be somewhat swollen for 2-3 months. Make sure you get outside and walk around in those first few days, and start hanging out with friends again as soon as you’re able so you can maintain healthy spirits! People care about your swelling a lot less than you think.

    All the best in your upcoming adventure!

  71. Alexander May 4, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Hey Graham,

    Thanks for setting up this site and for keeping it going even after you recovered.

    I am 22 years old and underwent a double jaw surgery similar to yours exactly one month ago, on April 4th. I have been experiencing pressure in my right ear (it’s sort of like when water gets stuck in your ear after swimming) which my orthognathic surgeon told me was the result of swelling in my jaw joint. He assured me it will go away eventually, but it is REALLY annoying, like a 11/10 on the inconvenience factor. Have you heard of this problem before and if so do you know how long it takes to go away?

  72. Graham May 4, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    Hi Alexander,

    I didn’t experience any ear pain myself, but other people have reported having pressure build up like you have.

    I think your surgeon is correct: it’s just a waiting game. Most of the swelling has usually dissipated by the 2-month mark, so I’d imagine it should start going away any day for you now.

    Are you applying heat to your face at night to help with the swelling? I kept that habit well into the second month of recovery.

  73. Alexander May 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    Thanks for the quick feedback Graham. The swelling seems to be a result of the elastics that my surgeon had me wear. I removed them for 24 hours and when I got out of bed this morning the pressure in my ear was significantly reduced.

    Of course the elastics aren’t optional so I will have to put them back in. I am hoping the pain won’t return but if it does I will try applying heat to that side of my face like you suggested. And if that doesn’t work it looks like I’m back to the waiting game :(. Thanks again for your help!

  74. Tara May 10, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    hi graham,

    im 21 and im due to have jaw surgery soon but im so scared.. i dread the part where they put me to sleep and i dont know if im going to look better or worse afterwards.. the only thing im really scared about is if i cant ever feel my lips or chin again… im petrafied! please help me i need help :(

  75. Graham May 10, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    Hi Tara! You have nothing to worry about. Being put to sleep is actually a blessing because you won’t have to experience any part of the actual surgery. =)

    Your appearance won’t change drastically–it will be very subtle and you and your friends and family will quickly grow to appreciate it.

    The permanent numbness only affects about 30% of patients and it’s never all that bad. I have a small part of my lip that is permanently numb and I don’t even notice it anymore.

    Cheer up, pal! You’ll be totally fine!

  76. sarah May 12, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    Hi. I had double jaw surgery 2 weeks ago and apart from having to be go back into hospital a week later due to a very bad bleed :( and de hydration I think things are starting to get better. I was told to wear the bands on my front teeth but have not been able to so far as the pain was BAD. I’m hoping to start wearing then tomorrow. Having a bit of a bad time with the mucus build up at the moment though.

  77. Graham May 12, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Yikes Sarah, sounds like you’re off to a rough start. Here’s hoping you begin to heal quickly and that you’re able to get those elastics on so your jaw is protected!

    I had to return to my surgeon a couple of times in the first month because my bands were hurting and my teeth were rubbing against each other in a painful fashion. They were both just results of my jaw settling into place.

    All the best!

  78. sarah May 13, 2011 at 3:41 am #

    Hi. Thanks for your quick reply. So wearing the bands is very important then? I have tried to keep my teeth closed so that the jaw is in its correct place but I am still finding the bands very hard to wear. I think I am just going to have to wear them and start taking the pain killers again.
    p.s can’t wait to start brushing my teeth once again :)

    Kind regards

    Sarah (uk)

  79. Graham May 13, 2011 at 9:11 am #

    I would highly recommend wearing your elastics despite the pain they cause. If your jaw is jarred in the first month, the consequences could be pretty drastic because your bone still hasn’t fused back together.

    There was a lot of tension in my face from those elastics as well, but they’re more or less your “jaw armor” right now.

    Don’t take my word for it, though. Call your surgeon and ask them personally. That’s part of what you’re paying them for. :-)

  80. sarah May 14, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    I’ve just noticed your final post was day 90! I’m only on day 16 and I feel like I will never be normal ever again:( I’m having a bad time sleeping upright. I still need my pain killers. I’m still having a problem with all the mucus & I’m so tired all the time….lol I could go on for ages lol. Please tell me it gets better :) Your pics look good

  81. Graham May 14, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    It definitely gets better. =) You’re already past the worst part of the recovery too, so it’s all uphill from here.

    Soon you’ll be speaking semi-normally again and that will make a big difference because you’ll feel like you can hang out with people again.

    Hang in there, Sarah!

  82. Jamie May 15, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    Hi Graham! I see you’ve been answering questions for a while now on this site, im 23 years old from South Africa and had mt surgery on Tuesday afternoon. Wow it takes alot of will power to get through thats for sure! The worst part for me is not being able to eat what my body craves. I cannot wait to just eat a slice of choc cake when all this is done lol. My face is swelled up a bit but not major, i have to go back to work on 20/06 so im hoping it will be alright by then. So my question is how long did it take for your major swelling to go down (just so that it at least looked normal?) Thanks for all the tips.

  83. Graham May 15, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    Jamie, if you have over a month off from work, you should be fine. You’ll still look a little bit swollen after after 4-5 weeks, but you’ll be able to communicate and live a relatively normal life.

    As for looking “normal” again, that will probably happen about a month after you return to work (at the two-month mark in your recovery).

    You should feel pretty good by June 20th, though. :-)

  84. Carli May 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    Hi Graham,
    I’m 16 and from edmonton but it’s nice out – no lovely blizzards anymore;) I had my surgery exactly like yours a week ago.
    Thanks for all your awesome tips, you made this past week completely pain free!!! well, you and the amazing drugs;-)I’m really happy about the pain it’s just sad i can’t eat… so excited for my first plate of ribs – it’s been 3 years cause of braces:(

    Anyway, I know it’s now been like 2yrs since your surgery but do you remember having the roof of your mouth numb? it’s the only thing that’s still numb and it’s annoying… Another thing is i have had on and off nose-bleeds for 3 days – is that normal? last question, and most important: when could you start chewing gum again? Sorry for so many questions but your tips are so helpful! :)


  85. Carli May 16, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    k one more question: when should i switch from ice packs to heating pads? last question i promiss :) Thanks!

  86. Graham May 17, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    Hey Carli! It’s good to meet a fellow Edmontonian (or whatever we’re called)!

    I remember going for ribs as soon as my braces came on. My orthodontist removed them and then said, “Make sure you don’t eat ribs right away because your teeth might be sensitive.” I went straight to Tony Roma’s and ate 5 plates worth. :-)

    To answer your question:

    1) Your mouth will be numb for a month or two. It’s just something you have to put up with.

    2) Nose bleeds are inconvenient but not unexpected. Try to be as gentle with your nose as possible. They moved it around during surgery so there are certain blood clots in there that you cannot break off until they heal up. Don’t blow your nose or anything like that.

    3) I couldn’t chew gum for about 3 months. Gum is actually a lot of work for your jaw, so you may have to forego that addiction until the end of summer.

    4) I switched to heating pads as soon as I got home from the hospital (on day 4, I believe).

    Hope you still get to enjoy your summer! Take care!

  87. Carli May 17, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    Haha nice to meet you too:) lucky bum…i want ribs ;( haha ya me too just no wakeboarding yet:( so sad but ssall good it’ll be worth it^_^ thanks again so much and enjoy the nice weather – doesn’t last long…

  88. mintcee May 18, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    Hi there! I’m having a slight issue here, I have a small open bite and when I went to go see the orthodontist a week ago, they told me my options were to have surgery, extracting teeth along with some braces or just braces. I really wanted to do surgery, but when I went today, they told me if i wanted surgery I’d have to have braces after. Do I really need to have braces after if I choose to get surgery? I don’t know what to do now :S.

  89. Graham May 19, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    Hi Mintcee,

    Braces are almost a given if you’re opting to have the surgery performed. I had braces for just over 2 years prior to the operation and then another 9 months following it.

    The reasons for this is that they need to create gaps between your teeth so the surgeon has space to cut up into the bone for surgery. Afterwards, you must remain in braces for up to a year to close those gaps back up.

    Braces are only temporary though. In a little while, they’ll be all over and done with and you’ll be able to live with your beautiful smile for the rest of your days. :-)

  90. Adrian May 19, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    This brings back many memories of my first 6 weeks. I am a 28 year old male very active and healthy and always on the go. I have a good head on my shoulder and emotinally/physically strong. Furthermore I have allergies and asthma and am a big mouth breather….On April 7th 2011 I had my Upper jaw expanded in 3 locations and both jaws aligned on the same plane since they were shifted and then my chin was moved over and brought out while they were in there doing surgery. Tomorrow I have my splint removed (week 6) and I don’t think I can go a day longer wearing this thing. My first 4 days I lost 10 pounds. Most of this is water weight and muscle mass. I have a fast metabolism so this sucked especially since I weighed 155 pounds going in. I do have some tips and expectations in my own experience in case you live my type of life and have my type of personality. I will list them in bullet form for ease of reading…
    -If you have kaiser they cover orthognathic surgery. Mine was free except the medications and consults.
    -You WILL lose weight. I recommend eating everything you crave but feel guilty eating because once you are wired shut you will wish you ate that burger or donut.
    -If you can, borrow a VITAMIX blender. I placed some cooked chicken breasts and chicken broth in that blender and it was like a smoothie texture chicken soup.
    -Buy ALOT of chicken broth and beef broth…low sodium preferably since you will be using this as a liquid to mix in vegetables (carrots/brocolli etc)
    -ENSURE..careful they are delicious but have ALOT of sugar. I was drinking a 6 pack per day on top of all my other meals.
    -If you have a Wholefoods or Trader Joes market they sell SOUP IN A BOX!!! Found this out last week.
    -buy a protein supplement for your bones and muscles..add it to your smoothies.
    -You will swell..levels vary and you will not know until after surgery.
    -You will have highs and lows emotionally and physically and I strongly recommend having family around you at all times. You will contemplate why you are doing this but I have yet to hear any negative comments/outcomes on patients that received jaw surgery.
    -Preparation is the key for the surgery. I moved in with my family for 4 weeks. You will be on medications for about 4-5 weeks depending how well you tolerate pain. These medications will be every 3-6 hours around the clock. I woke up at 3 am, 6am , 9am etc since I was under alot of pain.Antibiotics are also presribed and mouth rinses.
    -If you have asthma or allergies and you are wired shut….learn how to breathe through your nose now!It was like breathing through a straw and I had to take anti-anxiety medication in the hospital.
    -Make a list of movies you have always wanted to watch..books and magazines you have wanted to read and instruments you have wanted to learn. You will have about 1-2 months off of work with a doctors note of course. Make sure your school or employer knows this asap.
    -The faster you begin to walk around and keep your blood flowing the faster you will heal.
    -Heat pads help you go to sleep faster.
    -Air purifier and Vaporizer help keep your room fresh and clean in case you have allergies/asthma.My doctor recommended strongly that I DO NOT sneeze the first few weeks since clenching my jaw could lead to relapse.
    -Sleep sort of upright that way the blood doesn’t settle in your face and make you feel super swollen.
    -I was wired shut for 4 weeks and on elastics for 2 weeks after. This all depends on your surgeon and type of surgery. If you have elastics you should naturally have more muscle spasms since your jaw and muscles can still slightly move . If you are wired shut…you can’t move anything and I wouldn’t try moving your jaw at all.
    Sorry this isn’t in chronological order but probably the best advice I can give is ask for help and surround yourself with positive people and environment. I had planned to take care of myself and prepared physically and mentally and had all my books videos and “TO DO LIST” all ready to go…but boy was I wrong. I thought being in the medical field and understanding everything pre and post operation would be a huge advantage to my healing but when the time came I was sooooo weak and depressed that I couldn’t do much myself. It is very hard for me to just sit down and watch tv for hours at a time so this probably had something to do with my emotions while everybody was out having fun on vacations. haha. In the end….well for me (6 weeks since surgery) I feel really good. Went back to the gym and started with light weights . Tomorrow I will have the splint removed and should be eating pastas and raviolis and maybe ground beef. Stay positive and there are videos online as well of patients healing process that give you a mental boost. Good site lad.

  91. Graham May 20, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    Adrian, this is all excellent advice! The points that resonate with me the most are:

    – “You will have highs and lows emotionally and physically and I strongly recommend having family around you at all times.”
    – “Make a list of movies you have always wanted to watch..books and magazines you have wanted to read and instruments you have wanted to learn.”
    – “The faster you begin to walk around and keep your blood flowing the faster you will heal.”

    Thanks for contributing, pal!

  92. Kevin May 26, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

    Hi there! I just had jaw surgery almost 2 weeks ago. I’m so sick of fluids!! lol Anyway I’m still drooling and only getting fluids in. Doctor told me last time I saw her I could take off rubber bands for mashed potatoes and what not. I’m tonervous to do it due to taking it off when I got the day of and freaked when trying to get them back on. I have feeling already returning on my chin after just less that 2 weeks! Doctor says I’m more that 90% that get that. Anyway my questions are.

    Walking even from the couch to the kitchen. They did a bone graph. Advanced my jaw 10mm’s Anyway I walk like literally 30 feel. I have to sit down and pant heavily cause I’m out of breath. My teeth are shut but just barely able to open if I need. But still any tips for getting strength back sooner?

    Doctor recommended someone watch me till I’m fully off meds. Has taken no pain killers today but about to. Starting to hurt on my hip. My mom has to go back yo work monday. Should I get a friend to try and watch me for one more week or you think I’ll be fine?

  93. Graham May 27, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    Hey Kevin,

    If you’re already over 2 weeks into recovery, I don’t think you need to be monitored any longer. You’ve got to gauge how you feel though. If you’re sure choking won’t be a problem, you’ll be fine.

    As for being winded after short walks, I think you just need to let your body heal naturally. That’s not really a faster way to heal. Getting as much sleep as possible and walking more and more will help, but at the end of the day, you’re going to heal at roughly the same rate.

    Good luck with your recovery and let me know how your hip holds out!

  94. DARNETTA June 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    Hello Graham,

    Tomorrow June 7th makes 9 weeks for me. My lower lip and chin is still numb, but I’m having that crazy tingling and itching. My rom is at 20. I eat a lot of baked fish and other soft foods and still losing weight, I like that part. I do have the inner ear pain and pressure in my right ear, but my surgeon said it will go away. This is is the best, you have given me and others good and accurate advice, just wanted to update you and say thanks.

  95. Dawn June 7, 2011 at 12:00 am #

    Hi Graham! I am starting week 5 of my recovery from a double-jaw surgery (suffered from an underbite) and doing very well :) Ate a pancake for the first time today and was actually able to chew it :) But my jaw started hurting after a little bit so I was just wondering if that’s normal since my jaw is still not used to chewing?

    However, I also have some concerns.. I feel that I now have an overbite and is unable to close my mouth sometimes. I dont know if that’s why we have the elastics?

  96. Graham June 7, 2011 at 12:08 am #

    Darnetta, good to hear that your surgeon says your recovery is on track (ear pain and all)! If 9 weeks have passed already, it must be time to start smiling! 😉

  97. Graham June 7, 2011 at 12:11 am #

    Hi Dawn,

    Your jaw most definitely hurts because you haven’t exercised it in over a month. That’s to be expected.

    As for the overbite, that will go away with time. I assure you in a month or two, you’ll look in the mirror and smile, and you’ll wonder why you were fussing over an overbite you never even had!

    I also felt like I had a really bad overbite to begin with, but it turned out to be a result of the swelling. Once the inflammation vacated me, my mouth lined up just like it’s supposed to.

  98. Dawn June 7, 2011 at 12:16 am #

    Ahh, that is good news. I was worried that I have an overbite now after trying to fix my underbite. But how long did your swelling last?

  99. Graham June 7, 2011 at 6:27 am #

    Dawn, if you take a look at my mugshot roundup, you can see that on Day 32, it looks like I have a pretty big overbite still. By Day 76, it seems to be almost gone.

    So my advice is to wait until 2.5 to 3 months before you pass any judgements on the shape of your face. Time will fly by and you’ll see your new smile taking shape quite nicely!

  100. Tim June 7, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    I also feel the same way about the overbite. i’m at Day 19 going on 20 tomorrow (I actually ate two bowls of pasta today, and a few french fries yesterday so I must be making a quick recovery.. haha although it didn’t happen without a lot of pain afterwards) So.. general consensus says the feeling of an overbite is normal!

  101. Sarah July 17, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    Hey Graham, I’m an 18 year old from Ontario (lived in Edmonton last summer and can’t wait to go back!!) Anyways i’m 9 days post op for an overbite and an asymeyrical upper jaw, your posts have been helping me so much! So i’d just like to say thanks for keeping me positive! :) Sarah

  102. Graham July 17, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    Sarah, glad to hear you’re finding the site useful! You wouldn’t like Edmonton right now. They have a crazy mosquito infestation!

    Keep up the good work with the positive attitude, my friend!

  103. Karen August 8, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Wow…its nice to realize how many people go through this surgery and make it out okay. I am having my double-jaw surgery tomorrow morning and I am very anxious about it. Hope all goes well for me…your blog is amazing, it provides a lot of helpful information!

  104. Graham August 8, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    Tomorrow morning, eh? Sounds like an exciting day! Make sure you enjoy your final few hours of free speech for the next few weeks, Karen! =)

  105. Ryan August 9, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    Hi i had jaw surgery on June 7 as my jaw was broken playing sports. I had a titanium plate and screws that are put in permanently. I have lost close to 14lbs which I didn’t need to lose. But there is not much you can do about that. I an 2 months out of surgery. Eating soft food haven’t had any complications. I had 2 visits of physical therapy and am at 37mm opening so I’m close to full range of motion. My surgeon also corrected my underbite while he was in there. Alot of it is mental. It sucks losing the weight. I was at work a week later and now I’m lifting weights and can’t wait to start eating chicken in a few weeks. My surgeon in Florida was great and follow what they say and you shouldn’t have any problems

  106. Graham August 10, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    Ryan, I totally understand your frustration with losing weight. I’m addicted to working out and this surgery caused me to lose a lot of muscle. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’re able to get back to your previous physical condition once you can tackle a regular diet again.

    What sport landed you with a broken jaw?

  107. justin August 12, 2011 at 1:33 am #

    hey i have a question. how long does it take to recover and be active again such as dancing or working out? thanks a lot

  108. Graham August 12, 2011 at 6:28 am #

    Justin, I started working out again at around the 6-week mark. I was still pretty weak, but I was able to get back to the level of strength I was at prior to surgery in less than a month.

  109. justin August 12, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    Thanks, and also how long will it take to sing cause i need to play the guitar and sing for my church.

  110. Graham August 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    I started singing again after about 2 months. You’ll be able to play guitar before that though.

    That’s cool that you do music at your church. I was a member of the worship team at the church I went to as a child. I played guitar and drums (but not at the same time, sadly).

  111. dom August 29, 2011 at 7:21 am #

    hi graham love the site andi am 16 and i have had jaw surgey on both my upper and lower jaw and on my trid/nearly month week i have two question did u get a little plate put in to your cheek to hold the bone in place and if so did yours icth and make your eye icth i am really worried about it and do u think i will be able to play soccer now or in a weeks time thanks

  112. Angela August 31, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    Thank you for your post it has answered a lot of questions for me, or made me now what questions to ask. In a few days my 13 year child is having her upper and lower jaw done (with bone graph) and, her wisdom teeth removed. She is very active in school and sports. School just started for us and she is going to have to miss a few weeks. My questions for you are, how long after surgery did you feel like doing stuff all day like school or work? When you went back did you go back full time or half days? My daughter is worried about getting sick at school or starting to hurt, yet she wants to go back as soon as she can. How did you sleep? I know that you said that you and a lot of swelling and spasms, but she is scared her eyes well be black, did that happen to you? Sorry one last thing, blood makes her sick, she does not like to see it, smell it or even hear about it. I keep reading that the taste of blood is going to be in her mouth for a few weeks. Was it a strong taste and how did you get it out.

  113. sebastian August 31, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    Hi Graham, great blog you have here, very helpful!
    I had a look on here to see how long it will take to get rid of all the swelling. This is my 5th week post op from upper, lower ,chin and upper split jaw surgery and have a slightly more swollen cheek on the right then onthe left, im not concerned about this at all. Rather i left a comment to say how shocked i am to hear that you youwere still on fluids after 10weeks! That sucks, i was getting sick of it after a week, and was eating spaghetti and cheeseburgers( i was craving them =p ) within just 2weeks. Also went back to my normal routine ( uni + exercise and going out) after just 17days. I amvery curious to know if there are differnt methods in differnt countries? ( i live in Australia) i had it all done in one go and the surgeon put small plates and screws in to fix the bones together. I did not have wires or bands restricting my movement too much, although i couldnt have opend my mouthfar even if i wanted to. And was recomended to brush my teeth befor i left the 2night stay inhospital.
    I did suffer from anxiety that i wasnt getting enough air for the first couple of days, and sleeping wasnt great waking every 30 mins. Anyway thanks for the blog and good luck to all others!

    Written on tablet sorry for typos

  114. Graham September 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    Hi Dom,

    I didn’t have a plate in my cheek, so I’m not sure what might be causing the itching sensation you’re feeling.

    I wouldn’t play soccer until at least 2 months post-op. If you end up playing, make absolutely sure that you don’t get hit in the face. I took a Frisbee to the face at around the 6-week mark and I swelled up like a balloon from it.

  115. Graham September 1, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    Angela, to answer your questions:

    1) I went back to work after 2 weeks, but I didn’t really have any energy until about a week beyond that. I’d say 3 weeks is enough time to recover before heading back to school, but she likely won’t be able to speak very clearly so she’ll have a couple of quiet weeks.

    2) It took about a month before I could sleep through the night, but I was feeling fairly well-rested after the 2-week mark. Just make sure she sleeps with a heat pack on her face.

    3) I had no bruising, but I’ve seen others who bruised all down their neck. I haven’t encountered anyone who ended up with black eyes, but she may have to accept slight bruising on her chin and neck. It will go away within a month’s time.

    4) As for the taste of blood, it’s just something that you learn to deal with. She can be proactive and rinse her mouth out thoroughly several times daily to remove that taste.

    Best of luck with the recovery. She’ll do great. I’m sure of it!

  116. Graham September 1, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    Hi Sebastian,

    It seems like almost every operation has a unique recovery. It depends on what bone needed to be cut.

    One of my friends experienced the same results as you. He was eating normal food after 2 weeks.

    Glad to hear you had it a bit easier than some of us!

  117. DARNETTA September 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    Hi Graham,
    October 5, 2011 will be 6 months post-op and I still do not have my range of motion back I tried the tongue sticks,and putting my fingers in my mouth like the doctor showed me, I think Im screwed I am at 33 and should be at 40.

  118. Graham September 25, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    Darnetta, I definitely had my full range of motion back by the 6-month mark. I’m still confident you’ll regain your movement as well. It’s possible you still have residual swelling that’s preventing your muscles from relaxing as much as they should.

    Have faith, my friend. Your body will fight the good fight and get you back to normal!

  119. lisa October 18, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    I had double jaw surgery on 28/09/11, top brought forward 6mm and bottom back. I had to plates at the front of mouth by side of my nose and plates/screws on both sides of my jaws, im still very numb and swollen around the mouth area and inside the mouth, gums and roof of mouth.
    I have bruising both sides, im 3 weeks post-op tomorrow and eating off a spoon (mash,soups,pasta,rice, puddings) drinking out of a plastic cup too.
    When do you think the sweeling and numbness will go, my chin and lower lip, 1 side of my nose and under eyes are very numb, im constanly putting cream vaseline on my lips there so dry all the time.
    Thanks for any advice

  120. Graham October 18, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    Hi Lisa,

    If you’re eating soft food at only 3 weeks post-op, you’re already in very good shape!

    As for swelling, it generally sticks around for around 2 months, so you’ve got a ways to go yet. Most of your numbness should be cleared up by the 3-month mark, but my surgeon told me I should wait for a full 6 months before I started worrying about it.

    So you’ve still got a ways to go before your swelling dissipated completely, but it will become less bothersome each week.

    Stay strong!

  121. Plum October 21, 2011 at 5:29 am #

    Hi Graham,

    Thanks so much for creating this site. It’s so good to hear other people’s stories of this surgery!
    I have just received the date for my double jaw surgery and chin augmentation to correct my overbite – 4th January. Problem is I’m getting married on April 7th and so I need to decide whether I want to gamble on getting a beautiful smile but possibly still be a little sore and/or swollen, or whether I should just get married with my horrible old overbite, but be pain free. I guess the deciding factor is, what level of discomfort am I still likely to be in at the 3 month mark? Will I be able to enjoy my wedding meal, and chew it properly? And what can I do to increase my chances of making my recovery quicker?

    Does anyone else have an experience of getting married soon after surgery? I am a little concerned that I will look back on my wedding photos and think I look like a big swollen hamster faced weirdo.

    Any thoughts or advice would be so welcome!

  122. Graham October 21, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    Hi Plum,

    My gut response to this question is that love trumps looks, so you should go ahead with your wedding regardless.

    After thinking for a bit, I think you should be okay. Your wedding is a full 3 months after surgery, so you’ll be talking and eating again. You may be chewing slowly, but you’ll still be able to eat almost anything you like (with the exception of foods that are hard, like peanuts, or tough, like steak).

    Also, you should have a nice smile by April. You may have residual swelling, but most of it will be gone (and most of your feeling should be back as well).

    I would see if you’re able to have the surgery in early December to be absolutely sure, but if it can’t be moved, you should be okay as long as you have a full 3 months before your wedding. =)

  123. lisa October 30, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Hi Graham

    Thanks for your email, just another couple of things…how long is it before the tightness around the mouth area goes, i do have sweeling there still like hamster cheeks, can smile a bit and opening my mouth about 10mm.
    I have heard that the bottom jaw is worst with numbness of the bottom lip and chin area, and sometimes you do not get all the feelimng back there.
    Im due to go out for a family meal mid December, do you think i will be ok to eat steak then (TGI FRIDAYS.)
    How long before the mouth can open fully.

  124. Graham October 30, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    Hi Lisa,

    The muscle and tissue tightness usually dissipates by the 3-month mark (at which time you can also open your mouth fully once again).

    As for your steak dinner, you might be able to pull that off if you cut your steak into manageable pieces. Whatever the case, make sure you chew slowly and thoroughly so you don’t work your jaw too hard. You won’t know until you try, right? =)

  125. beezer November 8, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    does jaw surgery go for displacement of the jaw?

  126. Graham November 8, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    Beezer, I’ve never heard of anyone having the operation to cure undesired movement of their jaw. You’ll want to speak to your orthodontist about this. It may be that your jaw is out of place or it may be that your jaw’s joints need reinforced somehow.

  127. Hannah November 11, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    Hey Graham,
    I just got lower jaw surgery two weeks ago, and stumbled on your blog today. It really reassured me that I will someday stop looking like my face gained 20 pounds! I just have a couple questions: first off, I run cross country, so not being to exercise is driving me nuts! I don’t know if you run, but when were you able to doing hard exercise again (opposed to just walking, doing light weights, etc.) Secondly (and this might sound stupid), when were you able to start going out with friends again (i.e partying)?

  128. Graham November 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    Hi Hannah!

    It is definitely reassuring to know that all of that awful swelling will go away, isn’t it?

    I’m a super active person, so not being able to exercise was driving me a little crazy as well. I started lifting weights again after about 7 weeks, but I felt a lot of pressure in my face whenever I exerted myself so I had to take it fairly easy.

    I started running again at around the 8 week mark and that wasn’t too bad. It takes a while for your energy stores to return due to the weight loss, though.

    As for going out with friends, I started doing that at about the 6 week milestone, but I still wasn’t able to eat too effectively, so I just made sure I was fed before heading out.

    I hope this answers your questions. Stay happy!

  129. Jerry November 12, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    Hey! I just stumbled upon this website. It’s pretty amazing how differently everyone recovers. I had a super class III underbite. I had my lower jaw moved back 8 mm and my upper jaw moved forward 8 mm. Additionally, I had two bone graphs put in – one on my cheek and the other on my lower jaw. It was to help balance my face because my jaw (and my face) was growing slightly to the right.

    I didn’t like the way I looked about 3 weeks after my surgery. I kept thinking that it didn’t “look right”. But eventually, I liked the way I looked.

    I stopped taking pain medication 1 week after jaw surgery, and only used some Advil when they changed my band configurations. I started running by the 5th week post-op. I started going back to the gym at 6 weeks (push ups, situps, chin ups, but light weights and no benchpress) and started lifting weights at about the 7th week.

    I am about 10 weeks post op and my jaws don’t spasm anymore. I can eat nearly anything that I want, however, my jaws don’t quite have enough strength to bite into a crouton yet. Overall, I am very pleased with how it all turned out. I still have some more recovery to do, but the worst is definitely over.

  130. Graham November 12, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

    It is certainly surprising how differently people handle their recovery. You sound like you’re doing really well, Jerry.

    It’s interesting how we fight the way we look right after surgery but then eventually adjust to it.

    I hope it all works out for you!

  131. Bambi November 17, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Hi Graham!
    I had lower jaw surgery on June 9th and still can’t believe it’s been 5 months. I am getting my braces off on the 28th! I am so excited after nearly 4 years. My orthodontist put me in 4 heavy square bands on Monday and even though it’s been 3 days the pain in my jaws, teeth, and temples is killing me! I had a lot of pain with the surgery which I understand is unusual and was on pain medication for 6 weeks, out of work for 6 weeks also. My job involves a lot of talking and the migranes were bad. I just am not really understanding why I have this jaw pain so long after surgery when my Dr says all looks great? Also, still can’t eat a lot of things and do not yet have the ability to open my mouth as wide as I should be able to. Any ideas?

  132. Graham November 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Hi Bambi,

    That’s great that you’re having your braces removed already! Exciting, isn’t it?

    As for your pain, I’m not too sure. My jaw was still a little tight at the 5-month mark, but not in a painful fashion. If it’s giving you headaches, you should definitely tell your surgeon and see what they say.

    Also, at only 5 months into the recovery, you won’t be able to eat everything you desire just yet, but you should be able to eat most things. It may be another month or so before you can tear into a steak or eat walnuts and things like that, though.

  133. Sabby December 15, 2011 at 4:53 am #


    I am Sabrina here and I just did my double jaw surgery on the 7th of Dec, which is on last Wednesday. The doctor moved my upper jaw forward (I forgot how many mm) and lower jaw backward by 3/4mm . It’s the eight day since the surgery now and my face is still all swollen up. I know it takes time for the swelling to go away but my lips are super thick now.

    I look like I went and injected some botox to my lips and now they are double in size, which makes me look like a pig, cause my mouth is actually quite small. I saw the pictures before and after the surgery and their lips look just about the same for the people who did it. Why is mine double in size? Is it because it is still swelling? If it is, how long does it take for the swelling to go away? I don’t even dare to look into the mirror now. Feel so horrible.

    And as for my face, I used to have a heart shape face shape, but now it’s very squarish. I know I shouldn’t rush things and wait patiently for the swelling to go away but my college is reopening in three weeks time, do you guys think I have enough time for the swelling to go away? And would you recommend me to use some ice bags or heat packs? Cause my doc never mention it. I am starting to regret doing the surgery. Please help me. Thank you so much! :)

  134. Graham December 15, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Hi Sabrina, nice to meet you!

    My two pieces of advice for you are this:

    1) Don’t fret about your appearance until at least the 3-month mark. Your face is going to look a little disproportionate for these first few months and it is 100% due to the swelling. Everything will even out and line up once that’s gone. I promise.

    2) You will still be swollen when you go back to college in a few weeks, but that’s something you’re just going to deal with. The beautiful part of this is that people won’t remember or care once your swelling is gone. Your friends may notice, but as soon as you’re all healed up, you’ll realize that it didn’t even matter.

    The big takeaway here is to understand that you are your own worst critic and that other people are [surprisingly] not as shallow as you think.

    You’ll get through this, my friend!

  135. Sabby December 15, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    Hey Graham! Nice to meet you too. :)

    Thank you so much for helping me here. It means a lot to me. :) I just went to see my dentist this morning and she said I am recovering well. It’s just that I need to give some time for the swelling to go away. Yeah, I know I am rushing things up a little too much, but I just cant help it. Haha. Thanks you for the advice. It helps a lot! 😀

    Oh and, one more thing, will your face get oily very easily after the surgery? I don’t have this problem before the surgery but now my face gets very oily, especially around my nose and cheek area. I feel so horrible when I wake up in the morning cause it’s super oily and sticky. Is it because I am not drinking enough water so my face is trying to produce more oil? Is this normal?

    Once again, thank you for helping me, Graham! 😀

  136. Graham December 15, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

    My skin did not change as far as natural oil goes, so I can only assume that any side effects related to that are a result of dehydration or the fact that your body is working even as you sleep to heal.

    I wouldn’t worry about it. Chances are that everything will be much more normal for you in a few weeks. =)

  137. catherine December 26, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    hello, i have been reading your blog and it helps to know that I am going through the same process. However, I am having trouble eating the right protein. I am on Day 5 right now and i had double jaw surgery. I have been drinking Vanilla Ensure, tomato soup and Chicken Broth but i have gotten so sick of those. Any suggestions?

  138. Graham December 26, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

    Hi Catherine!

    It’s certainly not uncommon to grow sick and tired of the same old soups and meal supplements. I don’t have many ideas as far as food is concerned because I just stuck with Ensure, blended soup, and smoothies.

    I know other people started blending up actual meals, but I was a bit too lazy to experiment with that.

    I would find a smoothie you enjoy and start making that. I would also start blending Chunky soups because you’ll be able to find numerous flavors of them.

    Best of luck!

  139. Jessica December 31, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    Hi Graham!
    This is the first time I have ever left a comment on a blog, but I felt like I had to because your blog was so fantastic! It is so informative and the best jaw surgery blog I have ever read! I feel way more mentally prepared for the road that lies ahead. I am getting the same surgery Jan 23/2012 in Edmonton as well, just wondering who your oral surgeon was? It is great that you still regularly check the blog, hope you are enjoying your new smile!

  140. Graham December 31, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    Hello Jessica from Edmonton!

    Jaw surgery… what a way to start the new year, eh?

    My surgeon was Dr. Lahl from Renew Surgery on 109th Street. His website is He’s a really nice guy.

    Who’s performing your surgery?

  141. Joey January 9, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    I just wanted to send a thank you message for having such a detailed blog. I have found it so helpful to read about your recovery experience.

    I had double jaw surgery on 12/28/2011, but for an open and cross bite. It was similar enough to your surgery that your posts are very informative. Your blog inspired me to start a blog of my own to share what I’ve learned and about my recovery. I put a link up to your blog on my first post…hope that is okay. Let me know if you want it taken down.


  142. Graham January 9, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    Nice to meet you, Joey! I’m glad you’re telling your own story as well. Not only does it help people, but it also gives you something to keep busy with during those initial weeks.

    Cheers to a quick recovery!

  143. James January 10, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    Hey, Do you think upper or lower jaw surgery calls for more time off? I know this is a double jaw surgery site, but I would like to take 3 weeks off of work for lower jaw surgery. Im a Customer Service Rep, and talking to customers and friends is a big part, but i plan to be back at college after the first week or so.

  144. Justin January 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    Hi Graham,
    I am 20 years old & am on day 10 of my jaw surgery. They moved my upper jaw forward to fix my bite (under-bite) I’m actually in no pain except for at night my jaw cracks it really hurts. I knew I would experience swelling but a lot of it has gone down & I’m sad with the way I look now. My upper lip looks abnormaly large & I’m hoping this is from the swelling. Also my cheeck bones seem to stick out further. Is this normal or could I be swelling in my cheeks also? I touch them & it’s hard as a rock I don’t feel much flamation so I don’t think it’s swelling. My girlfriend of 3 years says im still handsome but I feel differently right now. Please answer at least the question about my lip.

    Thank you so much!!!

  145. Graham January 11, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    Hi Justin,

    Your upper lip looks large is definitely due to swelling. Even though you feel like most of your swelling is already gone, it will actually stick around for at least another couple of months.

    Your cheek bones are likely a result of swelling as well, but keep in mind that your face will be a different shape than it was before. It will take you a few months to get used to it, but you do look good, as your girlfriend is reminding you. Remember, you are your own worst critic.

    Don’t judge your appearance until at least 3 months have passed and all of the swelling has left. I promise you’ll adjust and come to appreciate your results!

  146. Jessica January 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    Hi Graham!
    Thanks for your reply! I have one more week and I am getting SO nervous! I have heard of him, I know he is good. My surgeon is Dr. Lung from Kingsway Oral surgery. He told me last week that I won’t have a splint in after the surgery, do you think that would make a big difference in post-surgical oral-cleanliness? I am a dental hygienist so I am a bit obsessive about clean teeth, braces have been driving me crazy!
    Honestly though, I just want to reiterate what a wonderful blog you have, GREAT job, if your teeth ever come through my dental chair I promise I will be extra nice and give you extra toothbrushes, haha!

  147. Graham January 16, 2012 at 1:51 am #

    Oooh, extra toothbrushes… What a deal! I have a few friends who are dental hygienists so I know how obsessive you are about oral cleanliness. =)

    The lack of a splint will mean you’ll be able to keep your mouth a lot more fresh than I could because there won’t be nearly as much inaccessible saliva buildup.

    Good luck next week!

  148. Jessica February 3, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    Well…. I lived. I’m on Day 11! I had these massive headaches the first week, Day 6 was the worst, I felt like I was going to die. No pain in the jaw though, interestingly. My face is past the super swollen phase, now I just look fat. When were you able to eat normal food again? I spent a good portion of my day thinking about what my first meal is going to be when I can eat real food!!

  149. Graham February 4, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    You’re alive! That’s great to hear!

    It’s funny how much we think about food during the initial part of this recovery, isn’t it? I guess that goes to show how much we take food for granted in this part of the world.

    I wasn’t able to eat solid food until about 8 weeks in, but that’s the slowest I’ve heard of to date. You’ll probably be on a liquid diet for at least 4 – 6 weeks, though. You’ve got to learn to enjoy soup!

  150. Kieran sherry February 7, 2012 at 5:12 am #

    Hi everyone,

    I had this surgery 3.5 years ago becuase of a condition passed on from my father. I can see by reading some of your posts alot of you have had it hard. I have upper and lower jaws realigned and from after surgery i also had strong elastic bands for 6 weeks. Things were done differently in my hospital as i was up and walking, doing my own thing within 6 hrs of surgery. Also i was told that you had to have liquid diet for the first 3 weeks, nothing like this happened, on my 3rd day after release from hospital i was eatting a curry in my local pub (was very strange but still managed).

    My jaws were extremely bad if your wondering to the point i have a screw at the top of my nose, so this tells you how far i had it moved.

    The main issues i had was nose bleeds for the first 12 hours after the surgery, they settled but was annoying. I would recommend a hot shower as soon after surgery as possible, this helps clean you up and make your face and mouth feel fresh.

    best drinks i found was the lucazade sport in a squeezy bottle, that helped for energy and also easy to drink.

    To this this day 3 and a half years later i still have numbness on my face, lower chin and lips also my jaw still spasms and i get aches. I have learned to manage these problems.

    i would say the surgery was well worth it, i had braces from the age of 10 to the age of 22 after my surgery (in that time i had them swapped for clear bracket braces as i was getting older).

    I have photos on my facebook page where you can see a before and after and post op photos if anyone wishes to see my page i will happily post it too you.

    all i can recommend is take it easy, drink plenty of fluids, keep you mouth clean as possible. swelling goes down after about 3 weeks but you do get there.

    I can answer any questions in regards to this procedure in britain and on the NHS as this is where i had it done.

  151. Graham February 7, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    Hi Kieran,

    It’s nice to hear about people’s recommendations for this operation even when they’re left with numb patches and other minor issues. What you said is true–one learns to manage these problems and realizes they’re trivial compared to the benefit of the surgery.

    I can’t believe you were at the pub eating dinner a few days after the operation! You must just be tougher than the rest of us!

  152. Kieran sherry February 8, 2012 at 12:26 am #


    I would not say tough, i would say lack of information from the hospital, i saw no one in regards to how to manage eatting, so i would say despite that it took about a week of eatting to get used to the new jaws (as we all know that the sensation you get knowing one of your jaws is shorter). Even my meal in the hospital consisted of cottage pie (word of advice do not try mash potato you will choke.)

    The procedure for this operation has come a long way, my father had the operation in the late 70’s and he was completely wired and had be be tightened every few days for a number of months. They did not use plates and screws back then and had food through straws.

    oh one other bit of advice ask your surgeon if you will require rhinoplasty (nose job) as i was offered it and should have had it, as i find it difficult to breath through my nose! could be something to do with the screw?

    Tips and advice on what people go through on this surgery is what can help people get through it, when i had my surgery there were no sites like this for advcie and experiences.

    Keep this site going for the many people who will have this operation every year.

    perhaps a photo page so people could post their photos.

    cheers again


  153. Graham February 8, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    A page where people can post before and after photos is not a bad idea! I’ll look into it!

  154. jonathan February 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    Hi Graham I was just wondering what the name of your orthodonist was and did you have your surgery in toronto, ontario.

  155. Angela February 21, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

    Hello, I wrote to you a few months ago about my 13 year old daughter. She had an upper and lower jaw surgery on September 6. She did great. However there was a lot of stuff I wished I would have been told about before. I ask around a thousand questions, but still feel I did not have all the needed information.
    1. The surgery took 15 hours
    2. When she came out her head and face was wrap with goss.
    3. The most shocking part was that her mouth and nose kept bleeding for around ten hours.

    If you ask her is she happy with it she well say yes. As for the face change I was really stressed about did happen, people ask US if she had a nose job all the time. Still I very happy with it all. So thank you for your post.

  156. Graham February 21, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

    Hi Jonathan,

    I had my surgery performed in Edmonton, Alberta. My surgeon’s name is Dr. Lahl and I highly recommend him (though it sounds like he might be a little bit out of your way).

  157. Graham February 21, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    Angela, I remember hearing about your daughter a few months ago!

    There is definitely great disparity between the information each patient receives prior to the operation. It would certainly be nice if a lot of us were informed more adequately than we were, wouldn’t you say?

    I hope she continues to recover and enjoys her new smile for many years!

  158. GIlbert February 24, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    So i got surgery ohh 2 months ago, i was minding my own business on the sidelines and blam a ball hits me in the face. Only thing that hurts is my tooth and gums nothing else oh and i got a nice fat lip, Should i wait it out and see if i am okay?

  159. Jo February 26, 2012 at 12:05 am #


    I’m a 14 year old girl living in Canada (hooray!) – Vancouver, to be specific, and I have a class-3 underbite and open bite. Recently, I’ve been having trouble opening my mouth too wide without feeling strain, and I’m feeling quite a bit of discomfort, but I’ve been told that I have to wait a couple more years to have the surgery (until I’m ‘fully grown’)… Ah…

    How severe should an underbite have to be before having no choice but to immediately resort to surgery, do you suppose?

    I’m sorry to be bothering you with questions, but do you think that it would be wise to have the surgery earlier? And do you know if it’s cheaper to have it somewhere else? Overall, the prices seem to be similar everywhere…

    On the other hand, though, I’m not scared about surgery at all. I just want it gone, if you understand what I’m saying.

    Thank you for your time. ^^

  160. Lily February 26, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    Hi Graham!
    Wow. I have spent the better part of the past two days reading your blog. Thanks so much for sharing your story for those of us who are on the path towards jaw surgery.
    I’m 20 years old, and have battled with mouth problems for years and years.
    Like most of us here, I’m getting a double jaw surgery as well. Much like you, I have a horrible underbite that has resulted in a cross bite-which I’m sure you are familiar with…
    I have to get my wisdom teeth out before I get my braces, and then this summer I will be doing my surgery. It was so great to read your personal experiences. Again, thanks so much for answering the questions I have always been scared to ask my doctor.
    I am a little nervous, but your blog has really touched me and eased some of my nervousness…to the point now where I am more excited than nervous for the changes this surgery will leave me with.
    I can’t wait to read your blog while I’m on my recovery journey!
    Thanks Graham. Hope all is going well for you now.

  161. Graham February 26, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    Gilbert, if your actual jaw feels okay, I wouldn’t worry about it. I took both a football and a Frisbee to the face during my recovery and neither affected me beyond normal pain. I’d say you’re doing alright!

  162. Graham February 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Hi Jo,

    That’s cool that you live in Vancouver. I drive out to your part of the country every summer to see friends and family. You live in a beautiful part of the country!

    As far as exactly when you should undergo jaw surgery, I’d say the age of 14 is a bit too young. Your entire face is going to grow for another few years, so it would be a poor choice to set it a certain way at this point.

    I’d wait until you’re at least 18 years old before considering it. If you decide to have the surgery, it only takes 3 – 6 months of your life away, so it’s not a life-altering recovery. It just means you’ll have one low-key season.

    So keep enjoying life and look into it again (providing your bite is still bothering you) in a few years. =)

  163. Graham February 26, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

    Hello Lily!

    You sound like you’re well prepared for the surgery. If you remain as chipper throughout the recovery as you are today, I commend you! I definitely had a few downer moments during the first few days post-op, but someone like yourself may very well sail right on through them!

  164. Amy March 2, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    Hi Graham!

    It’s good to know that you had a speedy and successful recovery, so cheers to that!

    I’m currently starting my fourth day post op and I still don’t feel my best. My surgeon pushed back my teeth (or pulled forward my lips) so my teeth are a good centimetre from where they used to be? Is that weird.. or is it normal?? Just for the record, I had double jaw surgery done as well (lower jaw hacked back and upper jaw brought forward). Feels awful though, but I’ve been trying to stay off the painkiller as much as possible :)

    I guess energy wise I feel better by day, but the energy dosen’t seem to last longer than two hours at a time. I was released from the hospital after one night and was told that I recovered fast, but why do I feel so bad still? I’m so frustrated, I really want a cheeseburger than anything else right now o_O protein shakes and frozen concentrated juice aren’t really doing anything for me, my stomach started growling when I was in bed last night..

    Do you know anything about white paper bandages they put on your face to reduce swelling? It’s crazy tight and it’s hard to swallow with (because it goes around my chin and partly around the tops of my throat..) and are elastics standard for everyone who’ve been through jaw surgery? I think my splint comes out in a week, not quite sure. Only thing I’m sure is that it’s pissing me off, so uncomfortable T^T

    Cheers! …… ugh *still suffering in bed…

  165. Amy March 2, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    I also can’t stay asleep my normal hours (which usually mean from 4 am to 1 pm), and it’s gotten somewhere close to 1 am to 7 am? Crazy!! I’m the only one awake at this inhumane time of day but I can’t fall back asleep =/ do you have any tips on that?

    My oh-so-attentive mom says I’m drooling as much as a big St. Bernard puppy (==), is there any way to control that? My lower lip isn’t really mine right now, I don’t even know its open most of the time or the water I’m drinking makes contact with my shirt. I feel so pathetic, it’s like I’m handicapped or something. How much more of this do I have to take before I’m back to my normal self again?

    Yesterday I’ve been looking at old photos of myself, and honestly, if I knew surgery was going to be this hard, I would’ve never considered it in the first place. I’ve been told that I was quite pretty (even though I personally hated my side profile and would avoid photos if possible), but what I used to look like looks so much better than the excuse I’ve got for a face right now. I know that I should stay positive, but which St. Bernard drooling Quasimodo can say that about themselves? *sigh..

  166. ERIC RICHART March 8, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    hi graham janurary 6 i got hit in the chin with a brick that fractured my jaw on the right side jan 11 i got wired shut for 8 weeks. my doctor said i wasnt healing that there was still mobility on my jaw so yesturday which was march 7 i got lower jaw surgery by the surgeons puttin in a metal plate near the fracture now im all swollen up fat bottom lip chin numbed up is that normal and now im not wired but got bands holding me shut wat should i expect and wat to do buddy please help me

  167. Graham March 10, 2012 at 5:50 am #

    Hi Amy,

    I must apologize for taking so long to respond. I missed your message and didn’t notice it again until now.

    To answer your questions:

    – It’s normal for your teeth to be unnaturally far apart at first. They will grow back together.

    – You’ll be fairly devoid of energy until 2 – 3 weeks have passed. After that, you’ll notice you have a bit more energy each day. Right now, your body is using all of your energy to heal itself.

    – The white packs that were on your face at the hospital were full of ice (to keep swelling down). If you’re at home, I recommend hot packs. They’re much more comfortable.

    – Not being able to sleep at first is normal as well. It will take 2 – 3 weeks before you can sleep comfortably through the night again.

    You sound like you’re having a tough time with your recovery right now, but I assure you it gets better (and quickly). You’re almost at the 2-week mark, and life will begin to look up at that point.

    Try to get outside for walks and find a good TV show to watch until your energy comes back. I’m confident you’ll find this all worthwhile in a couple of months when you’re all healed up!

  168. Graham March 10, 2012 at 5:52 am #

    Hi Eric,

    It sounds like you’ve been through a fairly brutal ordeal! Know that your swollen lips are completely normal and they will heal over the next few weeks. For the time being, try to keep busy with movies, walks, reading, and whatever else you enjoy. Time will fly by and you’ll soon be back in action!

  169. Eric March 10, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    Yo graham

    My girlfriend had surgery on feb 28th 2012 and she’s been on a soft diet for a week. How is that possible? Should i make her go back to a liquid diet? (she got the clear from the surgeon, but im still not convinced).
    Swelling has gone down, with cheeks and lips puffy. I dont understand how this is possible, she looks nothing like the other bloggers at this stage. Should i be concerned?


  170. Graham March 10, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    Hi Eric,

    I had a friend who was eating pasta and other soft foods within two weeks of his surgery as well. It’s not common, but if the surgery was less invasive, the patient will be able to eat again quite quickly.

    Just make sure your girlfriend is mindful of what she eats. Soft pasta, mashed potatoes, and soup are all fair game, but I wouldn’t try to be a superhero and eat anything tougher.

    It sounds like she’s going to get through this with no problem!

  171. Eric March 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    I think hers was double jaw as well. Would her lack of swelling after taking her wisdom teeth (all four at the same time) be any indicator?

  172. Graham March 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    I honestly can’t say. Perhaps her body doesn’t react by swelling like some do.

    What’s important is that she’s lucky to be able to eat soft foods after only 10 days. (Secretly, I’m a little bit jealous.) =)

  173. ERIC RICHART March 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm #


  174. Jennie March 12, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Hi Graham

    What a fab blog, wish I’d seen it before my surgery.

    I had double jaw surgery on 18 November 2011, which I was told 3 days later wasn’t full successful and I would need further surgery. On 12 December I underwent surgery number 2.

    My recovery was difficult, especially as a mum to 3 young children, and I was off work for 10 weeks in total.

    On my latest orthodontic appointment I received the surprising news that my braces can come off in 4 weeks!! But will have to have retainers fitted.

    So nice to read other peoples stories.

    Thank you

    Jennie (UK)

  175. Graham March 12, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    Eric, my advice is to stop smoking weed for at least 80 years following surgery. Your lip will heal over the next month or so. Have patience, my friend.

  176. Graham March 12, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    Nice to meet you, Jennie! You’re a trooper for surviving back-to-back jaw surgeries while being a mother. I certainly respect that!

    You must be seriously excited to have your braces removed. I look forward to hearing about your fancy new smile!

  177. DevonH March 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    I recently went to the orothodontist who said that my underbite is because my botttom jaw is growing faster than the top and i was given two choices…i could wear a face mask 12 hours a day for a year and a half or get oral surgery. The catch is that there is a chance that the face mask might not work, so i mightt end up getting the surgery anyway.Which choice should i choose? And what is double jaw surgery? And how long do these “spasms” last? A couple of seconds? thanks

  178. Graham March 19, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    Hi Devon,

    I don’t fully understand your situation, so it’s difficult to provide recommendations to you, but I’m a huge advocate of going through with surgery so that you can fix the problem once and for all. You’ll have to make you to ask your orthodontist if the surgery will be successful with your jaws continuing to grow at different rates afterwards.

    If you want to learn more about double jaw surgery, I would search around the Internet and ask your orthodontist for information.

    The spasms usually only last a second, so they’re more of an annoyance than anything.

    Best of luck in your decision!

  179. Kris March 21, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    Hi Graham!your blog is great I have been reading it since before I started my process of double jaw surgery 2 weeks ago. Although it has only been two weeks, it feels like it has been a month already. I am going back to school on Monday and I am extremely worried about being able to do my school work. I am in college for biomedical engineering/pre-med and i have been trying to catch up and study during my recovery but I just can not seem to focus. Engineering professors are of no help really and I’m expected to take the rest of my tests with the class as scheduled. Part of the reason studying is a problem is the fact that I really can not sleep at night. I’ve tried heatpacks for my face that likes to move around at night like a Mexican jumping bean… fail. I have also tried liquid benadryl, but I still wake up halfway through the afternoon even with alarms. Do you have any suggestions for this predicament?

  180. Abby March 25, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Thanks for investing the time into this site, it’s a really great resource. I’m scheduled for surgery in 5 weeks and it helps a lot to read about others’ experiences so that I’m better prepared.

    At first I was shocked when I clicked on “How much does jaw surgery cost?” to see $2500 to $5500 – then I remembered you’re Canadian! Here in the U.S. it’s more like $20k and it’s very difficult to get an insurance company to cover it!

  181. Graham March 25, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    Hi Kris,

    That’s a difficult situation to be in. It’s certainly going to be tough to focus enough to study for engineering exams at any point during the first month of recovery. I wasn’t able to sleep through the night until around the fifth week.

    I would obtain a note from your surgeon explaining that you should be allowed to write your exams during the make-up period and then hash that out with your department. They should definitely be respecting the fact that you just underwent a major operation.

    Best of luck to you, and just remember that by summer, all of this will be behind you. =)

  182. Graham March 25, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    Abby, the prices I hear Americans quoting always frighten me a bit. 😛

    It’s only reasonable in Canada if it’s deemed medical. People who undergo the surgery on cosmetic grounds end up paying between $20,000 – $40,000.

  183. Amber April 11, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    I’m very scared right now, in the summer (2012) I’m having surgery on my upper jaw. I’m so scared I keep watching videos and that’s making me more scared. How can I not be scared? and the problem is that my jaw looks fine…. My jaw looks good and I don’t think I need surgery, but my mom said I do. What should I do?

  184. Graham April 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    Amber, if your mother is suggesting you go through with the surgery, it’s probably an effort to prevent future complications such as lockjaw. I’d trust the judgement of both her and your orthodontist.

    You’ll get through this perfectly alright. You’re just going to have to last through a few months of boredom due to not being able to eat and play quite as hard as you wish you could in the summer.

    Remember that this is just a few months out of your entire life and you’re likely preventing a lot of future pain. =)

  185. Henry April 12, 2012 at 11:57 pm #


    Great stuff you got here! Really glad I found this and found others with similar questions I have. I was wondering if there’s anyway for me to exercise or stay active during my recovery?

    I am third week in for a class III underbite surgery. My jaw is hold together by elastics for 5 weeks. I have not been getting spasms like some others, I stopped taking painkillers 24 hours after the surgery and I was able to gain my weight back with a really power blender that can liquify regular food. However I am getting weaker as I am no longer active, I am wondering if you have any solutions to that? I am very limited to the kind of exercises I can do due to risk of hitting my jaw.

    I’m fine if I’m not moving or moving slowly, but I have a lot of trouble breathing if I move more then normal, hence I can’t really exercise the way I would like to. For example when I try to lift weights or bike up the smallest hills I find myself having to stop and spend few minutes trying to breath. I will be doing some backpacking in South America and camping in Amazons right after I remove my elastics and get my braces adjusted. My oral surgeon is fine with me going but I personally believe I need to stay physically fit especially when I’m not used to the high altitudes and foreign bacterias.

  186. Graham April 13, 2012 at 12:21 am #

    Hi Henry!

    I feel your pain, brother. I found it incredibly frustrating being restricted in my exercise as well. The safest thing for you to do is go for walks. You’ll be able to do crunches and pushups as well, but I wouldn’t try anything more strenuous than that. You certainly don’t want to knock anything out of place by putting too much pressure on yourself.

    You’ll get a lot of energy back over the next three weeks. I was back at the gym by about week six, but I recommend waiting until that point.

    That’s cool that you’re going to be backpacking through South America and camping in the Amazon soon. I’m actually going to be down there in six weeks. I’m camping in the rain forest for a full month! How cool would that be if we crossed paths on the other side of the equator!

  187. Henry April 13, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    Thanks for the tips I will try them out.

    And wow! A month in the rainforest! You must got some mad skills, I don’t think I would be able to survive there for that long.(Survivorman’s Amazon episode definitely scared off my confidence)

    And that would be pretty cool if we crossed path where toilet water spins the other direction. Let me know, you got my email, I’m down to grab a drink with a fella Canadian if we are in the same region. I’ll probably need tips with how to manipulate my new jaw to drink anyways.

  188. Graham April 13, 2012 at 1:08 am #

    Henry, I should clarify that I am not going “Survivorman-style” and camping alone for that long. I’ll be with a small group of people. I’m just a regular guy. The monkeys would scare me out long before a month was up!

  189. Miranda April 13, 2012 at 2:09 am #

    Hi Graham! Nice to be able to connect with a fellow Canadian! (I’m from Vancouver B.C. :)

    I also had double jaw surgery approximately seven weeks ago. I can totally relate to the murderous glares I shot to solid, actual food when I was syringe-ing mush down. I’m glad that the worst is over, but there’s an unusually firm piece of flesh between where my neck meets the back of my jaw. My surgeon says it’s scar tissue, and that a gentle massage will make it go down faster. Have you had a similar aftereffect? If so, did it ever go away?


  190. Graham April 13, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    Hi Miranda!

    I still have bits of scar tissue floating around my nose, but this is certainly a common thing. It will go away with time, but if you’d like to accelerate that process, massages and any kind of gentle, repetitive movement in that area will help. You simply need to break the scar tissue up. I got rid of most of mine by whistling, but that likely won’t help if your neck is what’s being bothered.

    In any regard, you shouldn’t be worried about it sticking around forever. =)

  191. Lindsey May 7, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    My boyfriend broke his jaw during a rugby game. He has to have reconstructive surgery, there going to cut open his gum where the break is and then a plate is screwed into the jaw and one of the screws might have to go in by cutting open the outside of his cheek and get screwed in from there and then it’s getting rubber banded shut. How long will it take for him to heal? Our prom is in 2 weeks and i’m wondering if he’ll be ok by then, and is there anything I can do to help him through this?!

  192. Karen May 15, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    I had jaw surgery April 19th of this year, and it’s been 25 days since the surgery. It feels like an eternity! When do the days begin to fly by? I get my splint removed on the 6th weeks.

  193. Graham May 15, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    Lindsey, since your boyfriend isn’t having his jaw completely reconstructed, he’ll most likely heal quite quickly. He may be slightly swollen at your prom next week, but he should be able to smile and dance with you without too many issues. All the best!

  194. Graham May 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    It’s a frustrating few months, isn’t it, Karen? You’re almost at the one-month mark, so you’re in good shape. You’re going to be back to speaking normally fairly soon and, once that awful splint is removed, you’ll regain the strength in your jaw quite quickly.

    You’d better start jotting down a list of restaurants you want to crash once you can chew solid food again!

  195. Stephanie May 18, 2012 at 7:06 am #

    Hi. I am getting jaw surgery (I forgot what it’s called) either next summer or next spring. I am a sophomore in high school. I am getting braces on the top and bottom next Wednesday. I’ve had braces before so I’m not scared about that. I got my wisdom teeth out in February. I am scared for my surgery of course, but I want it to be done. I have an under bite. The only thing I’m scared about is the pain and how I will be after surgery. I’m not getting wired shut but I’m getting screws instead. My lower jaw will be pushed back and my upper jaw will be pushed a little further and a little down. I remember seeing a picture of me in the future after the surgery and I look a little different. Thank you for this website I find it really helpful.

  196. Barbara May 21, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    hi my name Barbara I soonhad upper and lower jaw surgery on april 23 april soon after I knew something was wrong I had severe pain in my left jaw down in my ear my doctor said I had to have anothe surgery because my disc had slipped after m my second surgery almost two Weeks still filling some burning in ear wondering if this is normal.

  197. kim June 2, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    I have had braces on now for almost 13 months, however it feels way longer!
    I have a grade III under bite, I’ve been told I’m looking at dec-january for my surgery.
    I just want to know what to expect?
    I’ve also heard about feeling dow/depressed etc, does this affect everyone?
    And in terms of my appearance, is it noticeable immediately the change after surgery? Or should I wait for swelling to go down before making any judgments?
    I am actually really eager to get my surgery, even after reading blogs, watching videos of it being performed I am as keen as ever.
    Can’t wait to be able to bite into food properly! And not have th breathe through my mouth constantly.

  198. Graham June 3, 2012 at 5:20 am #

    Hi Stephanie,

    I wouldn’t worry about the pain following surgery. Most of your face is numb during the moments that would be painful, and by the time your feeling returns, the pain has largely passed.

    Good luck next spring!

  199. Graham June 3, 2012 at 5:22 am #

    Barbara, I’ve not sure what you mean by your “disc” slipping. I usually associate discs with a person’s back.

    In any regard, hopefully you’re able to have the corrective operation and heal up just as quickly as everyone else.

    Best of luck with whichever route you decide to take. =)

  200. Graham June 3, 2012 at 5:26 am #

    Hi Kim,

    You’re in the exact same situation as I was: class III occlusion (underbite). You’re going to love the results of this surgery!

    You can avoid depression by simply knowing what to expect. The most important thing you can do during the first 2 — 3 weeks is to keep yourself busy. Find a good TV series to watch. Go for walks multiple times every day. Take in some sunshine.

    Your appearance will change as far as your friends and family are concerned, but it will be gradual for you so you may not notice as quickly as they do. Do not pass any judgement on yourself until at least the 3-month mark. The swelling will have your face out of sorts until that time.

    Good luck in December!

  201. Joe June 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Hey Graham, it’s Joe, again. Looks like I’ll be frequenting your blog a lot more now and bringing questions with me as I do so now that I’ve officially begun the recovery process!

    When did you take off your headband? I still have mine wrapped around my head from the day of the surgery and I would like to wash up and breathe a bit better if I may. It doesn’t feel “right” if I take it off, though…like not enough support, you know? Not that I know what jaw support is supposed to feel like…

    Also, I haven’t yet attempted to brush my teeth…Everything looks so scary inside my mouth…I can’t imagine how I’m going to stick a toothbrush in there! Gah. Any tips or tricks?

    Thanks, as always!

  202. Graham June 4, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    Hi again, Joe!

    I removed my head dressing on the third day when I went home. Everything feels weak and unstable, but you’ll be okay as long as you’re careful.

    I didn’t attempt brushing until my 1-week appointment with my surgeon. I’d wait for their go-ahead before brushing.

    All the best!

  203. Chrissy June 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    Hi I had jaw surgery on Thursday I am 16years old and I am wondering if u had any problems with spit(salivia) I seem to have a lot.

  204. Graham June 11, 2012 at 2:15 am #

    Hi Chrissy,

    Since your mouth, tongue, and lips are all numb, you’re going to drool quite often for the first couple of weeks. Just make sure you have a cloth or paper towel with you at all times and you should be alright. =)

  205. Karen June 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    what should I start eating? I am on day 54, and I should start chewing soon, but I don’t know where to start.

  206. Rob June 23, 2012 at 11:29 pm #

    Thanks for you blog Graham. I just had my lower jaw advanced yesterday and I must say just readIng this blog gave me a bit of a frieght in terms of recovery times however I hear it all turns out for the best. I was a bit worried however when I started vommitting blood at least 6 times after the surgery. Any tips to help me get through the next couple of tough weeks? Thanks

  207. Graham June 24, 2012 at 5:52 am #

    Karen, I would start with soft foods such as pasta and soup. Try eating Kraft Dinner and Chunky soup. Let your pain be your guide. The only foods I would avoid for the first little while are nuts, raw vegetables (steam them to soften them up), and chewy meats such as steak.

  208. Graham June 24, 2012 at 6:04 am #

    Hi Rob,

    These first 2 weeks are going to be the most frustrating for you due to the inability to eat and communicate. My only advice is to watch lots of movies, go for walks every single day, and try to eat and drink as much as possible to provide your body with the energy it needs to heal.

    You’ll come out of this experience on top, my friend. I’m here if you feel the need to rant. =)

  209. Mark Simpkins June 28, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    Wow Graham still answering questions 27 months after your op …just fantastic….my daughter (18) had double jaw op this morning and I found the site tonight…cannot say how useful it is just to at least try and understand some of the things she is and will be going through…I already knew the technical stuff but perhaps not the practical stuff…have no doubt this will help me help her a little bit more…Thanks

  210. Rob June 28, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    Thanks for your response Graham! I must say that I have been impressed with my recovery and are quite happy at the moment. Day 6 Post-op and I feel completely normal. The only thing different from normal is the diet which is slowly becoming into soft food (but mainly still soups) and my speech which is pretty good/clear but not normal. I do have some moderate pain sometimes from the 4 wisdom teeth I had out but paracetamol seems to fix that. I have taken many of your tips on board, especially the movie one! Thanks again Graham.

  211. Graham June 29, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    Hi Mark,

    I’m glad my experiences are shedding some light on what you can expect during your daughter’s recovery. She may be slightly disheartened at first, but remind her to find comfort in the fact that every day will be easier than the one before it.


  212. Claire June 30, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    Thank you so much for this blog it has been so helpful! I am 16 and I am having double jaw surgery this fall because my lower jaw is too far back- I guess it stopped growing too early, and I have trouble breathing. I am TERRIFIED mostly because I am so afraid of blood and needles and such but this blog has helped calm a lot of my fears especially about the pain and I’m feeling a bit better. My questions for you is about timing. My surgery is tentatively scheduled for 4 days before Christmas right now so that I will not have to miss school but I just think it would be horribly depressing to do it at that time of year and my surgeon said I would only need a week to 10 days after surgery before I could go back to school so if that’s true, having it earlier during the year would be a possibility but I am a little worried about having a giant, swollen face at school and trying to keep up with my work. What would you recommend in my situation, knowing that I want to get it done as soon as possible but I also do not want to become overwhelmed? Also, have you had your wisdom teeth taken out and how does that compare to surgery? I know it is nowhere near the same but that is the only similar thing I have ever experienced and I would like to gauge my level of discomfort as best as I can so I will know what to expect. Thanks so much!!

  213. Graham July 1, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    Hi Claire,

    I would advise you to take 4 weeks off before returning to school. I know I was unable to speak for about 3 weeks, and I certainly didn’t have the energy to make it through a day of classes after only 10 days. However, the choice is yours. You’ll survive—it’ll just be difficult for the first couple of weeks.

    I experienced no pain at all when I had my wisdom teeth extracted, but many people swell up like marshmallows. The surgery is more invasive than having your wisdom teeth taken out, but if you survived that procedure, you’ll have no problem surviving jaw surgery. =)

  214. nadeem July 3, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    Hi Graham

    I just want to say thanks all the way from South Africa. I promise you, your blog calmed me down and definitely had awesome tips. You deserve an award or something because you helping thousands and in future millions!! I’m on week 1 so here’s to the next 5 months and 3 weeks!!


  215. Graham July 3, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    Great to meet you, Nadeem!

    I’m glad you’re finding my experience useful. The entire purpose behind these writings is to calm people down and provide them with a sense of assurance that the surgery will be alright.

    Stay happy and good luck with the next week!

  216. Nadia July 8, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    Hi Granham,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience and all your useful advice on this blog . I had double jaw & chin surgery about 10 weeks ago, I just wanted to know if it is common to have a uneven jaw line, a enlarged nose and sensitivity on the cheek area around this stage of recovery?.

    Should I been concerned at this point or just give it time to heal?

    Many Thanks

  217. Graham July 8, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    Nadia, I was told not to worry about anything related to appearance or feeling until 3 months had passed. My face was slightly uneven and swollen until around the 14-week mark.

    I would let yourself heal for another 2 weeks and, if you’re still experiencing lopsided features and sensitivity, ask your surgeon about it. I trust these issues will go away over the next couple of weeks for you, though. =)

  218. Joe July 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    Splint is coming off in 14 days! I can taste (solid) freedom already. I’m tired of being on a liquid diet.

    Today, I tried biting into a soft potato only to realize how hard a soft potato could feel to a jaw that hasn’t been used for over a month. It’s quite amazing and daunting to think that my jaw will have to learn how to chew again.

  219. Graham July 9, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    Joe, I remember the first time I bit into Kraft Dinner after having my splint removed. It’s amazing how hard “soft” foods can be, isn’t it?

  220. chelle July 10, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    double jaw surgery tomorrow morning. thanks for the blog tootz. lol

  221. Michael July 14, 2012 at 10:06 am #


    I just found your site – it is really informative. I had upper jaw surgery a year ago September and thankfully everything went well. Minimal swelling, lost 20 lbs which I have managed to keep off and my sleep apnea has disappeared. I am really happy now, but to fully correct my bite (have approx 4 mm overbite), lower jaw surgery is looming. I am reconsidering going through with it, especially concerned with the possible nerve damage. I am 54 and in excellent health, but just getting a nervous. Just wanted to share and hear your thoughts.

  222. Graham July 14, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Michael,

    I’m not sure what to tell you regarding your potential lower jaw surgery. I opted to have both jaws operated on simultaneously to avoid having to make a decision like the one you’re facing.

    If fixing your bite is important to you, I encourage you to go through with the operation. Lower jaw surgery usually enjoys a quicker recovery than the upper jaw because the surgeon doesn’t have to split your palette. The nerve damage is really just a minor inconvenience, and that’s if you end up with numb areas. Many people are perfectly fine. I no longer notice the numb parts of my lips and chin unless I’m shaving or someone is asking me about them.

    Let me know what conclusion you come to. I’d love to hear the reasons behind whichever decision you make. =)

  223. Michael July 15, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    Thanks Graham for the encouragement. My surgery is planned for September 19th. Fingers crossed – I’ll provide an update then. Thanks again.

  224. Rachel M July 19, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    Hi it’s been 10 days since my double jaw surgery and I’m still very swollen. I’m starting to get used to it but it’s still very uncomfortable. I tend to sleep on my side and not upright is that okay to do? Also, I was planing on going to a wedding shower in another week and a half do you think that’s too soon to go? Another thing… I slobber a lot! How long does it take for you to stop slobbering and when did ur swelling go down enough that you started to look pretty normal because I have school starting in a month and I’m concerned about how I look right now.

  225. Raja July 21, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    Hey Graham, I had recently had surgery on my lower jaw. From the small briefing the doctors gave me it seems like they put couple of plates in my mouth. I had a fall at the calgary stampede and lost a tooth aswell. So far the swelling has gone down alot at record speed, but there is one thing that worries me. That is that i can barely feel my bottom lips and chin. Will I ever be reunited with those parts of my body? Another question is that the surgeons also quickly replaced my tooth,as I regain more feel to my mouth I try to put my teeth toghter but only three teeth out of my whole mouth connect. Lastly, I know its different for every case but when do you think I will be able to start chewing again? I have a very bad chicken wing craving at the moment.

  226. Graham July 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Hi Rachel,

    I don’t think you’ll be able to communicate if you go to the wedding shower, so as long as you’re okay with simply observing, you should be okay.

    As for slobbering, that will go away after 3 weeks or so. I kept a paper towel on me at all times for the first few weeks. =)

  227. Graham July 21, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    Hi Raja,

    First off, nice work with your fall at the Calgary Stampede. I was there a few years ago and had a blast! You really got the experience the full effect of a stampeding crowd, didn’t you? =)

    You should regain most feeling in your chin and lips by the 5—6 week mark. Residual feeling could take up to 6 months to return.

    Your bite should close with elastics and the natural movement of your jaw. My bite was also open on both sides when surgery was complete, but over the following year it closed up nicely and I enjoy using all of my teeth now.

    I wasn’t able to chew until 8 weeks post-op, but most people are eating again after approximately 1 month. The answer to that question really depends on how severe your surgery was. Let your pain (and your surgeon’s advice) be your guide.

  228. KC July 24, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    Great website! Like a lot of ppl, I wish I found this earlier before my double jaw operation :( I had an underbite and had to move my upper jaw forward and lower jaw back a bit. Had mine done June 25th about a month from now. Major swelling is gone around the neck and cheeks but still swollen. My upper lip is probably the most swollen still.

    I would describe this experience as discomforting and not painful. The only thing I’m worried about is the numbing I still have on the right side of my lip and chin. I heard a few bad stories but I just have to hope for the best. I can say the numb on my is going away slowly because I’m tracking it on a daily bases lol.

    Someone mentioned earlier about their face getting more greasy. Weird I had that too! It’s not as oily as the first couple of weeks.

    So far do I regret this? Absolutely not. Im 28 and I’ve waited a few years for this with the braces and all. One thing I have learned is to be PATIENT.

    Hope this helps some ppl 😀

  229. Dawn Alys July 29, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    My journey to correct my over-bite started over 25 years ago when I had orthognatic surgery which relaspsed because at the time the common procedure for securing the bone was with wires. I have to admit I wanted the surgery to correct my appearance as well as I didn’t(and still don’t) like my smile. The surgery did help my lock jaw but since I have facial pain and headaches caused by having to thrust my jaw forward to eat and talk which creates the sound of sand in my ears – jaw joint deteriation. I thought that I would live with this until I could afford to pay for surgery which would be years and years away. It felt hopeless until my daughters orthodontist told me this was a medical condition that should be paid for by my insurance. I cried when I heard this news. So at 45 years old I got braces again – for the fourth time – in order to do the surgery. I saw a Maxiofacial Surgeon/Plastic surgeon and left his office hopeful of positive results. I was scheduled to have the surgery last July 2011 but was kicked by a horse five days prior to surgery and landed in the hospital for 4 days with a long recovery. So I waited another year. I was scheduled to have surgery on Aug 1st. I went in for my pre-op appt to see my spints and discuss the procedure and ended up walking out of the surgeons office an emotional wreck after being told (for the first tim I might add) that I may not have enough bone on one side of my jaw to do the surgery (this is not definately determined at this point but can be with a 3-D ray)and then the Dr. proceeded to essentially talk me out of the surgery I have emotionally, mentally and physically have prepared myself for since initially meeting with him a year and half ago. I am devestated and feel decieved and scammed. Had he had this conversation with me initially I could have looked into the lack of bone issue and prepared myself for the fact that the surgery wouldn’t be able to happen. Instead, I have been hopeful, releaved and happy only to be left crying over the loss. I await talking to my orthodontist to find out what he suggest I do. I have planned this whole year around this surgery. I don’t know whether to start again with someone new and wait another year (I work in educstion and have summers off). That prospect is cares me because where do I start when the surgeon I had was so highly regarded and recommended. Afraid I’ll end up disappointed again.

    I have realized by my emotional state that this surgery is very important to me though my husband and children don’t want me to go through it and my biggest fear is that I will have permanent numbness in my lower lip (I currently do from the last surgery but it is about 10% and live able). The surgeon told me I would definately have numbness becuase of my age but I am optimistic it won’t be a large loss.

    I recognize that I need to get the 3-D xray to make sure the surgery is doable and find another surgeon if the bone is good but now have fear that was instilled im me by the surgeon and am doubting whether the surgery is worth the outcome. I am looking for support and input.

    Know anyone to recommend in Salt lake City area?

    Thank for your posts!

  230. Graham August 1, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    Good to meet you, Dawn.

    It sounds like you’ve had quite the journey with regards to your teeth and jaw thus far. I guess the phrase, “better late than never,” continues to apply though.

    The surgery will certainly be difficult for your family, but at least you have your husband and children to stand by you for emotional support.

    I certainly cannot recommend any surgeons aside from my own, but I’ve found that almost all oral surgeons know what they’re doing when it comes to these surgeries. They have different methods and recovery procedures, but they’re all tried and true.

    Best of luck in your search and I wish you all the best in yet another chapter of this dental game you’re playing. =)

  231. Albert August 4, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    I recently had jaw surgery on July 26, its been a week and a couple of days and I can say I feel back to normal now. I have a cleft palet which causes me to have a underbite. I had double jaw surgery and had plates screwed into my jaws and had my chin pushed out a little bit. No bone graph was necessary thank god! I had been waiting for this surgery for over a year and a half due to the fact that I want to go to the Marine Corps and this is holding me up a bit.. The first 6 days were the worst, I felt very naceous from all the pain medication, which thankfully ive stopped taking now(: and very very weak! It is now saturday and I feel like myself again, I can even talk although a bit slow but im talking again! Anyways, Im not wired shut, I have bands holding my jaws together. My only question is how long will I have these on for? I can take them off to eat and brush my teeth but i feel imprisioned with these bands on! Do you have any suggestions?

  232. Graham August 4, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    Albert, I’m glad you’re already past the worst part of the recovery. It sounds like you’re doing pretty well for the stage you’re at.

    As for the bands, I was told to wear them as often as possible all the way until the day I had my braces removed. I was frustrated with that timeline at first as well, but I got used to them. If you really need to know if there is an end date in sight, you’ll have to give your orthodontist a quick call and ask them.

  233. Rachel M August 8, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    I had my surgery July 9th so it’s been a lil over a month and I’m still pretty swollen how long did it take for ur lips to unswell. Also, I still have like no feeling at all on my lower half of the face is that normal?

  234. Graham August 9, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

    Rachel, you’ll be swollen for 2—3 months, so you’re still on track on that front. Feeling should begin to return over the next couple of months as well. It takes longer for some people than it does for others, but you’re certainly not experiencing anything out of the ordinary. You’re in good shape!

  235. Bella August 10, 2012 at 7:06 am #

    I was just wondering when the first time you went out drinking was after your surgery?? I’m planning on going to a gathering tonight at someone’s house so not actually a club or anything and I’m planning on drinking a little. How soon after surgery did you start drinking again? (if you’re a drinker) Thanks :)

  236. Graham August 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    Bella, I recall having a few drinks within 3—4 weeks following the operation. The only problem with alcohol, specifically beer and mixed drinks, is that they may infect open wounds in your mouth, but if it’s been a few weeks since you had surgery, you should be perfectly alright. Also, remember not to drink if you’re still taking medication. Other than that, enjoy your night!

  237. megan m August 14, 2012 at 1:31 am #

    hey! I am getting jaw surgery on my lower jaw to pull it forward because it never grew fully, i’m very nervous about going under because i never have for anything. i am a very nervous person. but i need to get it done. im 17 and its causing me pain. i start my process soon. i get braces and the surgery is estimated to be in about 9 months from now. Which puts me to have surgery about may 2013. I miss by my highschool prom because of it ..its sad, but i have to do it because of my benefits through my dad and they only last till im 18 and i turn 18 july 2013. nows the perfect and pretty much only time. my question is how much do benefits cover for it? and what do they usually use to subside the pain right after surgery when you wake up. i know over the weeks you can choose to take things like tylenol, but what did the hospital give you. i dont like hospital drugs. i prefer to keep my body natural the most possible way. i am very nervous about my weight to. i am very small, maybe 105. your blog helped me alot though. thank you. i will read it for motivation again closer to my surgary to <3 my count to happiness begins. by the way i live in Canada to. Ontario. = ) thanks for reading.

  238. Tom Smith August 14, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    I’ve found that fully in to my 8th month of my recovery from my double jaw orthognathic surgery, I am still regaining sensitivity daily. My surgeon informed me that one can continue to regain sensitivity for a full year after surgery, rather than 6 months noted here. Just my experience.

  239. Graham August 20, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    Nice to meet you, Megan!

    That’s a shame that you need to miss your prom, but you’re always going to have to miss something due to the length of the recovery. You’re lucky you can have the surgery at such a young age.

    I had no benefits for the surgery in Alberta and it cost me approximately $5000. Alberta Healthcare covered everything else.

    As for pain, you’ll be fairly numb following the operation, so pain shouldn’t bother you too much. All I was given for pain was Tylenol-3, but I didn’t even need to use them.

    You’ll do great! I wouldn’t even bother thinking about the surgery until about March of next year. Don’t stress out about it. =)

  240. Dayna August 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    I had upper jaw surgery 12 days ago to correct my bite.(My front teeth didn’t touch my bottom,3 years of braces couldn’t fix this) I was in hospital for 2 nights and discharged on the third day! The most pain comes from my hip, if it were only my face, I’d have been off painkillers a few days ago, but my hip is very sore! It often gets stiff, I have spasms, I get burning sensations running down my thigh and I twitch beyond belief at night time. I slept in my own bed for the first time last night since surgery and it was the most uncomfortable thing ever! My sleeping pattern is a mess! However, had a full 6 hours interupted and the difference in my face (the swelling) is unreal! They tell you the change will be minor, but it takes a LOT of getting ysed to (for me anyway) the thing that worries me the most is the numbing! I know it has only been 12 days but I keep reading about permanent, or a year of numbing! Which scares me because I have about 2cm on my top lip that I can actually feel! It affects my speech, I can’t drink from a cup because I drool (sorry) obviously because I can’t feel where my lip is and my cheeks and the tip of my nose is also numb! I read somewhere massaging it enduces the nerve top reconnect and gain feeling again, does anyone know if there’s any truth to this and if there are any other tips which will help regain feeling? ….. Also, on the weight front, I’m from scotland, I have lost just over half a stone which is about 9 or 10 lbs (I don’t know how you would work that out) but I was advised pre-op to gain some weight as I wasn’t exactly fat so the weight loss wouldn’t make me look gaunt! So tip, gain weight pre-op to maintain your size! (Unless of course you intentionally want to lose weight!! And that’s my story! Ahah Dayna

  241. Graham August 21, 2012 at 1:32 am #

    Dayna, do yourself a favor and don’t worry about swelling or feeling anytime soon. Most people begin to regain their feeling between weeks 4 and 8, but it’s different for every person and, as you already know, can take up to a year or more. There’s a 30% chance that you’ll be left with permanent numbness, so you’ll likely get all of your feeling back. If you don’t, there will only be small patches of semi-numb areas and you’ll grow used to them quickly. I honestly don’t even notice my numb patches any longer.

    So fear not—you are still in the infancy of your recovery! Give your body a chance to prove itself! =)

  242. Correne August 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    I’m 6 weeks post op today and still have no feeling in my bottom lip and chin, except when I do and then it feels like it’s on fire! It also affects my speech, I now have a lisp but hope with time it will go away. My face still looks uneven my lower lip still seems to stick out a little far so I know I still have some swelling. I’ve lost 18 lbs so far and I’m still losing because it’s hard to “eat” enough. Also I still have to wear bands on one side and in the front connecting my top 2 and bottom 2 teeth so it’s still a work in progress. It’s hard to be patient…

  243. Bella August 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    At the airport when you go through the scanner/detector thing, did it go off because of the plates and screws?

  244. Graham August 28, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    Bella, metal detectors do not pick up the plates in my face, no. They’re small enough that the scanners aren’t concerned with them.

  245. Kier August 31, 2012 at 12:16 am #

    I’m 15 years and I’m getting the lower jaw surgery. I play volleyball, basketball, soccer, and track. And was wondering how long it would take for me to get back into sports again?

    Also I don’t really mind the way I look right now. How much does your face change after surgery? What if I look awful after it?

  246. Graham September 1, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    Kier, you’ll have to ease your way back into those sports because they’re all high impact. I would stay away from them for at least 6 weeks. Once you start to build yourself back to where you were before, make sure you don’t get hit in the face. It’d be a shame for your recovery to be extended because you weren’t patient enough with your return to sports.

    Your face will look very similar—only the general shape of it will change. Your features will remain the same, though, so I wouldn’t worry about it. =)

  247. laura September 1, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    My 17 year old son had upper jaw surgery on Thursday and it is now Saturday night. The swelling is incredible. He is sitting/sleeping in an upward position. I understand it takes several weeks for swelling to really subside, but in general, when does the ‘oh my gosh!’ swelling subside. Our son is a trouper. I asked him if he would still go thru with the surgery, knowing how he feels at this moment and he said ‘yes.’ or, i should say ‘loosh’ with alot of saliva. I just hope this swelling will subside, even just a little.
    Also, if anyone has trouble with congestion and breathing thru the nose, and have tried nasal sprays and decongestant pills, try getting a steam humidifier. We put one in our sons room next to his bed and it really helps.
    Will keep reading your comments. Great job!

  248. Graham September 2, 2012 at 1:43 am #

    Hi Laura,

    Since it’s Day 3 for your son, his swelling is at its peak today. It will stick around for another 3-4 weeks before you notice it begin to dissipate. I assure you the time will go by quickly, though, and he’ll be back to smiling soon.

    He’s lucky to have you there taking care of him! All the best to the both of you during the recovery!

  249. Sierra September 8, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    I’m 15 years old and I might be undergoing a double jaw surgery this December. I broke my jaw in preschool and I’m currently stuck with an assymetrical bite because of it. My surgeon is thinking I should get my surgery done at the beginning of Christmas break, with two weeks to recover and to see how I’m feeling, possibly go to school at the beginning of January after break. Do you think 2 weeks is long enough to recover? I would be able to take the necessary meals with me to school, but I am thinking it’ll be difficult to talk and I’ll get weird stares by a lot of people. What do you think? Any suggestions?


  250. laura September 9, 2012 at 7:33 am #

    Day 3 was the worst in swelling, but by day 4 it went down 50%. Our son is eating chili (no beans) oatmeal and mahsed potatos. There is still a bit of swelling and he has no feeling in his lip or chin, but we know this is to be expected. He had his surgery 11 days ago and is going back to school tomorrow. The teachers have been wonderful. A piece of advice for those still in school like Conor, when you return, your speech will definitely be different. I arranged for my son to sit in the front row at school so the teacher can keep an eye on him.
    I also have speech rehabilitative services set up for our son. I live in the USA, and we can have this after surgery.
    The day of surgery and 2 days afterwards, are the worst but you can get thru it with the help of your loved ones who are taking care of you. After that, it gets better and better every day. My son is a pretty good looking young man, but after he had his surgery, his jawline changed and since it is now in the proper posistion, he looks even better looking! Its mainly the profile that changes but thats a good thing! I love your site Graham. Keep up the good work! You are doing an amazing thing for those who are thinking about surgery, right down to those who have had it.

  251. Julie Gunn September 9, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    I had double jaw surgery 9 days ago and this website has taught me to be patient with recovery! I still have quite a lot of numbness; mainly chin, lower lip and cheek bones. The swelling has decreased loads since I came home from hospital 5 days ago but seems to have slowed down. I have elastics on my teeth. I use mouth wash 4 times a day and brush the front of my teeth as I can’t get in any further. Has anyone got any tips for keeping breath fresh? Great website with loads of reassuring info. I’m English, by the way.

  252. Graham September 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    Sierra, I’d recommend you have the surgery during your summer holidays. It’s kind of a downer because you’ll miss part of them, but I honestly don’t think 2 weeks is enough time to recover to a state where you’ll be comfortable returning to school. It’s possible; it just won’t be comfortable. You likely won’t be able to speak very clearly after only 2 weeks and you’ll be quite swollen as well.

  253. Graham September 10, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Laura, I’m glad to hear Conor is recovering at a good pace. At his young age, his body will probably heal quite quickly. I hope he does okay in school for the next few weeks despite the frustrations of altered speech and swelling. All the best!

  254. Graham September 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Hi Julie,

    My only tip for getting a little closer to having fresh breath is to gurgle salt water to remove some of the bacteria in your mouth.

    Until you can brush and floss completely, however, you’ll have to lower your standards for fresh breath. The first time you can brush again will be a refreshing day—trust me. =)

  255. Lester September 13, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    Hi all, well basically i had my lower jaw op on monday the 10th sept, the swelling in my face in imense an i have the tight elastics on. Im just wondering how long will i have the numbness in my bottom lip an jaw? An the teeth will the elastics on are hurting like never before! Also i was given shakes to drink, but my stomach does not take lightly to eating just shakes and its going mad for food! Is there anything at all i can help heal quicker or eat things that can help my healing process? Cheers

  256. Laura September 13, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    My son had his upper jaw operated on, on August 30th. The swelling as unbeeelivable on the 3rd and 4th day. Hang in there! Keep sitting up, even when you are sleeping and keep ice on too (this might make you feel better as well as helping with the swelling.) Ibuprofan is your best friend. I crushed up the pills for my son but it burned when he took it in liquids. Our pharmacist said it was the acid in the pill burning him, so we switched to childrens liquid ibuprofan. This is for the pain and swelling. Get ahead of the pain too, dont wait until you are feeling it, stay on top of your pain meds.
    As far as food, my son was tired of the shakes. I got cans of soup. I live in the USA, and we have soup by Progresso called italian wedding soup. It has beef in it. I put it in a blender, until it was pureed. I kept adding a little water at a time, until my son could take it. He got the taste of beef, which felt good on his stomach. There are a ton of different soups out there. Sometimes he just felt like vegetable. Also, I made instant oatmeal really, really runny and he liked that.
    So keep ice for swelling and comfort, stay ahead of the meds! Set a timer for your meds, and if you start feeling the pain and due for more med in 20 min, go ahead and take it. Just dont do this 24 hours straight. Ibuprofan is much better than the pain med from the doctor/hospital because it is an antinflamatory. The swelling was incredible on one day, but the next when he woke up, it was 50% gone. Hang in there!

  257. laura September 21, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    Hey Lester,
    I’m 6.5 weeks out from my double jaw surgery and genioplasty. The recovery time is killing me! I’m nearly 40 so I’m no spring chicken. You asked about the numbness. I”m still very much so NUMB! It’s maddening at times. It’s mainly my chin and bottom lip and my top and bottom gums. It has a constant feel of thickness, pressure and at times tingling. I will say that this is the first week (6 weeks post op) that I actually felt like I could talk without ANY evidence of having had surgery. My doctor said that they are told to tell patience that in your chin the numbness after surgery crawls slowly away at the rate of one centimeter a month. hum…could be it bit longer for me!

    As far as those of you who have asked about returning to school or whatever and when…I was COMPLETELY having to live life back at a normal pace at 7 days post op. We have 8 children and life was NOT slowed down for a healing mom. Talking was majorly frustrating and you feel like you look horrendous but you can do it! youll be mumbling to everyone you need to talk to that “i just had jaw surgery so talking is totally awkward right now, excuse me!” BUT, you can get up and do life one week post op. Otherwise i would have been a depressed mess! I had lots going on around me to try to keep myself away from the mirror. I also began running again everyday at 2.5 weeks post op. It was my lifesaver!

  258. laura September 22, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    hi hello my surgery puddys
    any numb gums at 6.5 weeks…?
    this is getting old :( wanting to go gack to normal more then anything….

  259. Graham September 23, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    Laura, I was still quite numb up until the two-month mark. I never experienced numb gums, but I would imagine those nerves heal the same as any others. Even though it’s frustrating, try not to worry until you’re made it to three months post-op. I have faith your feeling will return! =)

  260. Michael September 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    Well, its been 4 days since my lower jaw surgery. Swelling is quite bad, although getting better every day. Still numb, but starting to feel tingling here and there. Liquid diet has been a challenge, but my wife has made some very interesting smoothies and milkshakes. Still have bands on since there still appears to be some misalignment. I am hopeful the surgeries are done, but in any event, I am glad that I went through the process (upper jaw surgery last year) and orthodontics for the last 3 years. If you are thinking about this type of surgery, get the best team around you and go forward.

  261. Graham September 24, 2012 at 12:46 am #

    Michael, glad to hear you’re on the road to recovery now! You’re lucky you have a loving lady who is trying to keep your diet interesting despite your inability to chew. Smoothies will be your best friend for the first couple of weeks. Good luck and stay positive!

  262. Jessica September 29, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    HI Graham,

    In my darkest days of my double jaw surgery, your blog and your humor kept me hopeful, thank you! I am now 35 days post op and my face is still somewhat swollen. I know that this will pass, but what I am a bit worried about is the shape of my nose, it looks bigger, or wider… I really can’t tell which, but is different. Did your nose change after the surgery? I am really hoping is just the swelling, I really liked my former nose and hope to get it back.

  263. Shay September 30, 2012 at 1:49 am #

    What were people reactions when they saw you after you recovered ? Like people that you know, but don’t hang out with. Did they notice you ? Ask questions ? Or just acted normal ? Etc.

  264. Graham September 30, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    Jessica, the shape of your face, nose included, has changed, but I promise you will get used to it. I felt the same way during my recovery. Once your swelling goes down, the parts of your face will fit back into place quite nicely. Remember that you are your own worst critic. Don’t pass any judgements on yourself until the full 3 months are completed. =)

  265. Graham September 30, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    Shay, people noticed the shape of my face was a little different, but they definitely recognized me. Everyone in my social circle was well aware I had underwent the operation due to this blog, so I can’t say I encountered anyone who simply noticed the change without being forewarned. People didn’t treat me any differently, though. You will still look like you!

  266. Fiona October 2, 2012 at 5:11 am #

    Hi Graham…your website seems like a blessing..I have been under orthodontics treatment since the last two and half years , i am 26 so they said the movement of my teeth was slow as previously the surgery was supposed to be done 1.5 yrs post orthodontics, however ive had my rounds with the surgeon now and given a tentative date of 06/10/2012 for a maxillary and mandibular osteotomy, they say they would move my upper jaw backward, as currently it is in an overbite position and then bring my lower jaw forward for the perfect bite. As i also have incompetent lips, they would be cuttin a section there or giving a flare near the nose or so…not sure.. I have been advised to take leave for four weeks from work and theyve assured me that i’ll be okay in the next 6-8 weeks..My main concern with regard to the delay in surgery is that I have my wedding planned in the second week of December 2012 (ceremeonies start from the first week )and at this point in time I cant post pone it any further, nor would want to.. so yes i am quite worried and having faith in the Dr. would do me good…but what would you suggest.. I have been waiting for this surgery all this while, fought with family, n very bravely took all my decisions, and I really hoped that I’d be lookin good for the wedding pics….not that i look v bad in my exisiting state…but obviously you always want the best. I would like your advise on this and some fast recovery tips if any.

    Lastly, the surgeons are working on my wafer and they said if they have any doubt over the distance..even a bit…they would call off the surgery and continue my orthodontics…maybe remove the braces during the wedding time and then again. They said they do not want to risk it. I say God is Great.

    Do let me know your views on this when free… thanks… and sorry for the long long msg but am sure You will understand. :)

  267. Graham October 2, 2012 at 6:51 am #

    Hi Fiona,

    If your surgery is in a few days and your wedding is taking place during the second week of December, that gives you roughly 9 weeks to recover before the big day. You’ll be talking, eating, and living a fairly normal life again by that point, but you’ll most definitely still have your braces on and you’ll still be a little swollen as well. I’m not sure if your orthodontist should be removing your braces that close to the operation (even if only for a single day).

    The fact of the matter is that there’s never a good time to undergo this surgery—it’s always going to interfere with something. I would advice you to keep your wedding planned (because that’s an important day for you). If you’re okay with braces and having a little bit of swelling in your photos, you should be okay. If you’re set on having a brace-free smile for your photos, you may want to consider having the surgery after your wedding and having your orthodontist remove your braces for your special day in December.

    Best of luck, and let me know what you decide to do! =)

  268. Fiona October 2, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

    Hey thanks a lot Graham…Yep at this point I cannot seem to change the wedding date..They said they will remove the braces. Well let’s see what they tell me today about the wafer. But the swelling part they say would be gone and as you say little bit would be there. Well my point was that I always wanted this before my wedding and kinda delayed my wedding too but now I guess God has other plans for me so lets see..By when does the swelling go. Braces I have a 6 months or so post surgery orthodontics to be carried out. Usually in photos the braces donot show currently..but well now lets see..I am soo scared and confused.. :S

  269. Abbie October 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Hi, This website is great!
    I had my upper jaw moved forward and the lower jaw moved back, this was on the 21/09/12 and im still quite swolen. How long till it goes down?

  270. Graham October 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Abbie, your swelling will stick around in a big way for a couple of months post-op. Residual swelling should be gone by the 4-month mark.

  271. Lester October 12, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    Hi LAURA, i’ve only just read your response thanks for that, im now nearly 5weeks post op now, im talking so much better and i’ve started chewing! 😀 the 1st week was a nightmare having only liquid diet. I spoke to my surgen and. He said tht i can eat anything i want just to be sensible with it. An doesnt need to see me for 6 months now. So its back to my orthadontist once a week now. My lower lip an chin are still numb as anything but its been itching and tingerling like crazy and its supposed to be a sign of the nerves repairing so thats good. My swelling on the other hand is non existant now well there is a minor bit but nothing noticable. Which is great news and my bruising was gone by the end of the 4th week. Even though i only had my lower jaw done to fix my overbite im recovering quite well an im back to my normal self. Id just like to point out i didnt pay a penny for this since it all started when i was 17 but had braces for years now so its taken a while to get surgury done. Here in the uk its free if your under 18. Saved myself £6000 by the sounds of it lol but for anyone who is going to undertake surgury any time soon. The 1st week/ 2 weeks you will hate but slowely but surely u will get back to yourself and feel a lot better. Im still recovering but i just finished a mcdonalds fish burger after near on 5 weeks post op. i cant complain. Good luck all! Thanks for your responses. 😀

  272. Michael October 13, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    Just an update on my journey. My first lower jaw surgery was deemed unsuccessful, despite the use of plates and perfect alignment during the procedure. When I woke up, my lower jaw had shifted out of alignment. So, I was informed that I had to go back exactly 1 week later for another operation. Unfortunately, the same thing happened with the misalignment – the surgeon blamed it on a muscle contracting. So, guess what, they recommended a third attempt. This one was done in the surgeon’s office rather than hospital which was good. Basically, he removed the plates and screws, adjusted the alignment since the bone was still very malleable and then wired my jaws together to maintain the alignment – not taking any chances this time with that muscle. So , I have been relegated to drinking my meals through a syringe through gaps where a few teeth are missing. Lost 16 lbs to date, but after 10 days, my weight has stabilized and i haven’t spoken since the the 3rd procedure. Some people may be happy about me not speaking, but seriously I have taken to doing webex and conf calls under the moniker, The Silent One. I basically have to write my responses to questions. My work associates have been very accommodating, which is great.

    I am hoping to get the wires off on this coming Wednesday, which will be a month since this journey began and 2 weeks with wires.
    It is worth noting that I has the best surgeon and Orthodontist in the Philadelphia area, so it wasn’t a lack of talent. It has been a hugely frustrating process and while I continue to believe the benefit of aligning my teeth and also addressing my sleep apnea will outweigh this situation, anyone contemplating surgery should be aware that there may be some bumps in the road. Keep a positive attitude and hang in there is all we can do.

  273. Graham October 13, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    Michael, I hope your situation improves, my friend. Having to return for follow-up surgeries is never enjoyable, but I trust that this will all work out for the best. I can fully sympathize with the whole syringe game—frustrating! I wish you a strong recovery from this point forward. =)

  274. CJ October 16, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    Hey Graham, I recently had Double Jaw surgery (im 18 by the way), i was born with a cleff pallet, which stunted the growth of my top jaw, so i had to have surgery. they said i had a class 3 severe underbite (i think that is the worst) my recovery went great, i drank a whole lot of water before the surgery, i ended up lossing 15 lbs. recovery sucked, oh well. Any advice to others if they are contemplating on getting the surgery, GET THE SURGERY. BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE. totally worth it. you will surely regret it for the rest of yourlife if you dont do it. i love to run, so when the doc said i could run and eat normal food, i jumped right into it. after running and eating normal ive been getting stomach aches when i run. the pains are similar to, for example, you eating lasagna 10 min before you run a hardcore workout. and it feels like you are going to puke it up. that is what it feels like. the doctor said that i have acid reflux but said it is temporary. i was wondering if you have heard of this before? and how long will it take to go away?

  275. Graham October 17, 2012 at 3:25 am #

    Hi CJ,

    I’m glad you found the surgery to be a benefit in your life. I’m always happy when people can look back and be proud of their decisions.

    As for your stomach pains, I really have no credible insight to provide. My guess is that, since you’ve been restricted to soft foods for several weeks, your stomach isn’t ready for rich foods again yet. I’m guessing that it will go away over the next few weeks, but try adjusting your diet to be more lean and see if that helps.

    Best of luck, my friend!

  276. Jaydien November 14, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    Hi, firstly just want to say a masssiiivvveee thanks for you posting your story of what you went through as It has helped me think more about mine, I just received my date for my op 12th April, I am sooooo excited but at the same time nervous (of course what human wouldn’t be) I am from the uk so lucky my op is free I am also having the same surgery as you ad no one has mentioned about a catheter to me, although I am in the uk I am sure their wont be any major differences to what will happen but I have a few questions hope you don’t mind,
    Firstly I am at university studying nursing and our course is a lot more intense than other courses I only have 7weeks of in a year compared to about 4 months like the other students here, I am having y surgery 3 days before I have two weeks leave from Uni which is so lucky do you think after these two weeks I will be able to return to lectures ?? I know everyone is different but if I miss certain lectures I fail my course instantly, so I am scared that I won’t be able to carry on my studying.
    Also how long roughly was you numb for ?? My boyfriend is in the army and will just be getting back from Afghanistan when I have my op and I want to be able to kiss him after 6 months of being apart hahaha, proberly not going to happen but just curios :)
    I am quiet happy at the idea of losing weight as I been trying for ages as nothing seems to work but I am crap at working out lb into stone ?? How much in stones roughly did you lose ??
    Also how regular where your orthodontic and sergical oppintment a after your op ?? As I live quite far from my home and it costs me a lot to travel back and I am a poor student haha !!
    Can’t think of anything else at the moment but again thanks so much for you diary of your recovery soooooo helpful :) xx

  277. Graham November 15, 2012 at 12:38 am #

    Hi Jaydien,

    After only two weeks, you’ll likely still be unable to communicate clearly or focus for an entire day of lectures. You may need to take an additional week away from university. I went back to work after only two weeks and ended up with headaches each day for another 4–5 days. Since lectures are short, though, you may be alright.

    I was numb for about two months. Your kisses may just be messy, haha! 😛

    As for weight loss, chances are you’ll only lose weight until you’re at your natural weight. For most people, this equates to about half a stone.

    My checkups following surgery occurred roughly every week, but every surgeon is different. You’ll have to ask your surgeon and orthodontist on this one.

    Happy to hear you have a date booked. This will all be behind you soon!

  278. Sam November 18, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    Hi Graham,

    I am now approximately 5 months post op. My sensation has returned to nearly all my face however half my lower lip and chin (exactly to left of midline) is stil totally numb. Is it likely that I’ve lost sensation to this part of my face for good?

  279. Graham November 18, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    Sam, that’s the exact same spot I lost feeling. There are cases where feeling returns up to two years later, but chances are if it’s not back by now, it’s going to be permanent. You will grow used to it very quickly, though, I promise. I don’t even notice I’m numb in those areas any longer. =)

  280. Graham November 18, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    Sam, that’s the exact same spot I lost feeling. There are cases where feeling returns up to two years later, but chances are if it’s not back by now, it’s going to be permanent. You will grow used to it very quickly, though, I promise. I don’t even notice I’m numb in those areas any longer. =)

  281. Chelse November 21, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    Im confused about choosing the surgeon. I have my surgery planned for december but i found out that my surgeon is only 4 years experienced in this field and also his ratings are very bad. Should i choose another doc? And also i want to get a good surgeon, what is considered as one?

  282. Graham November 21, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

    Chelse, this is something I’m unable to help you out with. My surgeon has been in the business for over a decade, but I’m not sure if that’s worth any more than 4 years’ experience is. The most important things to note are whether or not they make you feel confident and comfortable (and are honest up front about the risk of losing feeling in parts of your face) and whether people have made negative claims about them. If you know of someone who had a bad experience with this surgeon, I would speak with them and make an informed decision based on that.

  283. Jaydien November 24, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    Hey thanks for you reply :)
    I tend to only have 2/3 days of lectures a week so I think I should be ok, I could always just go to the really important ones and ask my tutors to send me information on ones that I miss,
    Haha I guess messy kissing won’t be good prob best that I wait till am not dribbling haha although he will hate this !!
    And as for the weight I don’t know my natural weight as I put weight on due to contraceptive measures so hopefully I will lose more,
    Again thank you for your advice but another question, does everyone have to have a catheter do you know ?? I think I am more worried about this and a needle being out in my hand than the actual operation haha :) xx

  284. Graham November 24, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    Jaydien, not everyone requires a catheter. To be honest, I’m not even sure why they gave me one, considering the operation is only a few hours long. Most people have said they didn’t need one, so it must be a surgeon-specific decision.

  285. Pam November 25, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    Hi Graham! This site has been a life-saver for me. I am 38 days post-op from having both lower jaw surgery and surgical palate expansion. It’s been the BEST info I have found on what to expect every day and reminds me that I am not unusual or going crazy! Unfortunately I am in the “I’m so done with this” and “What was I thinking?” phase. I just know there is a day in the future where my chin/lower lip won’t be numb or experiencing that oh-so-constant tingling. I day when I won’t be tired of being tired. :)
    I am now trying to chew soft foods but unfortunately I seem to have forgotten how to…an odd concept to explain to family and friends.
    Anyway, THANKS for taking the time to have this site. You have made a tremendous impact and as odd as it may sound…I don’t know what I would have done without it.

  286. Graham November 25, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    I’m glad my daily rambling has helped you along, Pam! I remember going through emotional battles similar to what you’re experiencing right now, so know that you are not alone! You’ll be nearly back to normal by Christmas time, my friend!

  287. Hazel November 26, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    Do you have any remedies to get rid of the bitter medicine taste while drinking on liquid health supplements? :(

  288. Graham November 27, 2012 at 1:20 am #

    Hi Hazel. My only suggestion is to shift from supplements to smoothies. That way, you get to enjoy the taste of strawberries and bananas while still being healthy!

  289. Juan Carlos December 5, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    Hey Graham, its Juan Carlos from Venezuela again! I was supposed to get jaw surgery today, actually, I should be under surgery at this very moment. Friday night a had a terrible car accident with two of my friends, I was driving, i had some eye trouble, almost lost it but now its ok. I lost THREE TEETH, for which I already got implants and need to wait a week for them to heal to get the actual teeth on. Some bruces all over my buddy but that’s not to worry. My surgeon, who is the same who putted my implants for my new teeth, re eschudualed my surgery for the 17th. Ill get you know how it goes! Thanks

  290. Josh December 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    Hey! I was just wondering if you NEED to have braces before jaw surgery? And when you got your braces for the required time before the jaw surgery, did your underbite get worse?? Was it substantial? Thanks!

  291. Juan Carlos December 5, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    Josh, correct and correct. your underbith will get a little bit worse but neither you not your close friends/family/people that see you once a month will realize it because it changes so slowly.

  292. Graham December 6, 2012 at 7:21 am #

    Juan Carlos, that’s crazy! I’m glad you’re okay, man! I guess it couldn’t have happened at a better time considering you were already on you way to having dental work performed, right? Good luck on the 17th and stay safe until then! =)

  293. Graham December 6, 2012 at 7:26 am #

    Josh, most orthodontists recommend having braces before the surgery to put your teeth in a workable position for the surgeon. Usually, the braces will create small gaps in your teeth so the surgeon has an easy place to cut into your jawbone, but those gaps will be closed with braces after the surgery is complete. I didn’t notice my underbite growing more noticeable with the braces, so, as Juan Carlos mentioned, you needn’t worry about that. Go for a consultation and see what your surgeon recommends.

  294. Damien December 7, 2012 at 4:25 am #

    Hi Graham, first of all, i just want to thank you for having such a wonderful blog because it really helps me and i am sure many others who might otherwise feel anxious and hopeless at times. I am writing from Taiwan, WOO HOO. Am i your most distant blog fan? Anyway, i had my surgery 34 days ago, but who is counting. I am still not used to the way i look but i am trying to learn to love it. Anyway, i just want to give a shout out to thank you for this blog. It would be so great if your blog is in every language possible because i couldn’t really find any blog in the magnitude and details like your blog in my native language, mandarin that is.

  295. Graham December 7, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    Damien, I’m glad you found the site useful! I think you very well may be my most distant fan, yeah! I should really consider translating these posts into the common popular tongues, shouldn’t I? Thanks for the suggestion and good luck with the last couple of months of your recovery. See you in Taiwan one day, hey? Woohoo!

  296. Christina December 11, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    Hey Graham!
    Firstly, your blog is awesome and hilarious, it was kind of a weird way for me to unwind after a day of studying for finals.

    Anyways, I also live in Edmonton, and I was wondering who your orthodontist and surgeon were?
    My orthodontist suggested that I have jaw surgery about three years ago. I had a consult with a surgeon, but I didn’t really like the guy. He didn’t really explain anything or answer any of my questions, and I left the place feeling more confused than when I walked in. I ended up not having the surgery, but lately I’ve been having more pain in my jaw due to my bite, so I’m starting to rethink my decision. However, I would like to speak with a different orthodontist and surgeon (even though I’ve had the same orthodontist for 10 years, I don’t really trust her as she was the one who suggested removing one of my adult teeth which wound up making my bite even worse).
    So yea, let me know! Or if you know of any other good orthodontists in the city, that’d be helpful too!

  297. Graham December 12, 2012 at 12:55 am #

    Christina, my orthodontist was Dr. Gail Burke (website) and my surgeon was Dr. Saranjeev Lahl (his clinic is called Renew Surgery, on 109th Street and 72 Avenue). Both were incredibly friendly, understanding, informative, and professional. I highly recommend these fine people!

  298. Katie December 12, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    Hi Graham! I have recently been told I will need double jaw surgery for my class 3 malocclusion. I was wondering how much worse your underbite got during preparations for surgery. Currently, my smile looks normal, but my teeth are at dangerous angles and I have difficulty chewing.I, a superficial teenage girl, am very concerned as to how my smile will change during the next year or so preparing for surgery. I am quite impatient. Also, reading your blog has led me to the decision that I must follow through with this surgery.Thank you!

  299. Graham December 12, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

    Katie, while you’ll be wearing braces prior to the operation, your underbite will not grow noticeably more prominent. The purpose of the pre-surgery braces is to space your teeth accordingly so the surgeon has room to cut into your jaw. Braces are never fun, but I assure you the entire process is well worth the effort. I wouldn’t worry about your underbite growing worse, though. You likely won’t notice the change.

  300. Becca December 18, 2012 at 11:06 am #


    Wow! Am I ever glad I stumbled upon your blog. I am booked in for double jaw surgery here in Halifax at the end of January, and I am pretty excited. I will be reading all your posts as I recover. I also find your responses to be both informative and entertaining!! :) Your positive energy is contagious! Thanks!

  301. John December 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    I am in day 8 of my recovery from jaw surgery. They moved both of my jaws 8mm due to sevear obstructive sleep apnea. Everyone complaining about their looks who had to have the surgery for their looks are a quite shallow. This has been a year long process to get the procedure approved by insurance, I had to put my life on hold to deal with life threating conditions. I am in a doctoral program, took 3 semesters off from school, fought insurance company’s for this quoted $40,000 surgery electively here in CT. I started the process 12/15/2011 got approved 11/8/12 had the procedure 12/11/12. It has been a battle but totally worth it to be able to sleep and get oxygenated while sleeping. My airway was only 2mm before while awake and while sleeping it clasped and caused me to stop breathing around 125 times an hour per-op. there is a 95% chance I will have no relapse of sleep apnea. I am keeping my fingers crossed and staying hopeful. Throughout this first week I can proudly say that I feel better than I did waking up tired all my life. The pain is nothing compared to emense tiredness. I am hopeful to see my cat scans after the swelling is gone, my air way should be anywhere from 8mm-11mm. I have lost 26 pounds so far, I just started blending soups and ice cream on Monday. It is a long road to recovery but the life I will lead being happy and awake will make it all worth it in the end. God beless anyone and everyone who has to fight with insurance company’s for approval and closure. I am great full for my mother who has been there fighting by my side to get this done. What a great way to spend my birthday Christmas, and the New Years. Haha what a wonderful world we live in, insurances cover the most bogus operations, something that is medically nessicary requires a long drawn out process and then an approval, not doing anything for the patient.

  302. Graham December 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    Becca, good luck in January! Make sure you enjoy every bite of your Christmas meal this year! =)

  303. Graham December 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    John, insurance can certainly be a frustrating giant to deal with, though it is country-specific. In Canada, I didn’t even have to submit any paperwork—it was automatically covered because it was deemed medical by my surgeon. However, America is known for insurance difficulties, so I pray you come out on the other side having this operation covered.

    Take care and stay positive, my friend.

  304. Sophia December 20, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    Hi graham!

    So I just had my surgery this dec 13th 2012 and have finally come to a full week. I’ve had a hard time with the rubberbands in because I have around 6 in but there so tight I don’t even want to take them out. I was lucky enough not to have any bruising but the swelling is still a concern I have. It’s hard for me to eat because the bands are always in. I’ve lost about 16 pounds so far and feel by body is so weak about all I can do is take a shower before I feel wiped out. Sleeping has started to become an issue as well I don’t sleep till about 4am and wake up around 9. My splint really bothers me but they told me I would only have it in for 4 weeks not the 6 you have been saying. So I’m hoping it’s out sooner cuz my lips are so swollen its really hard to get in there and brush my teeth. Plus I always have headaches and feel I need to lay down. I also wanted to know if there’s anything to speed up the process of swelling and about how much weight in pounds u should expect to lose until you can eat again?

  305. Graham December 20, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

    Sophia, know that everything you are experiencing is completely normal and expected. Once this next week goes by, your life will become a lot better. There’s no real way to reduce swelling at a more rapid rate—it’s simply a time issue. If you use heat packs at night and avoid talking, your swelling may be lower each day, but it will still take the same amount of time to actually dissipate. As for weight loss, you likely won’t lose much more than you already have. You’ll be able to eat as soon as your surgeon gives you the go-ahead. It’s different for every person, though. I, personally, couldn’t eat solid food until week 7, but I’ve had friends who were eating at week 2. All in all, be positive. In just a few short months, you’ll be back to normal and loving your new bite/smile! =)

  306. Juan Carlos December 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    Hello Graham. This is Juan Carlos from Venezuela reporting. I had lower jaw surgery on December 17th so that makes it day 12 today. Let me explain you how my first 2-5 days went. My doctor believes that the less time I spend in bed, the quicker I would recover. The tipical pain killer that patientes who goes under this surgery take is vicodin. My surgeon sent me home on Advil. The pain was so hard on day 1 that I just couldn’t get out of bed by myself. I had my mother called the doctor to ask him if I could take any stronger pain killer and he sent me Dolac. Vicodin is still much more effective than dolac for pain relief. I also got my wisdom teeth removed so the swelling in the first 2-5 days was huge, I would say at least in a 400%. I only spent the first 2 days in bed. This was probably due to the fact that I was not taking vicodin. On day 4 my life got a lot better. I regained all my energy from not being in bed all day on day 5 or 6. Since then, Ì’ve been back to normal (energy wise). Today I thank my doctor for not prescribing Vicodin for me since maybe I would still be feeling bad and without energy. I have been going out everyday since day 5 for short periods of time. The time I spend at home I spend it playing videogames either on the computer or on my Xbox. I havent been on a strict liquid diet (althought my doctor said I cannot bite on anything for the first 15 days). I have been eating pasta. Not regular though, the tiny small one that parents give to kids. I have also been eating lasagna, I cut it in very small pieces, put it in my tongue with a spoon and just swallow it. Smashed potatoes do the same. Pretty much anything that I dont need to bite on. I felt pretty emotional the first couple of days, I just couldnt stand looking myself at the mirror and seeing a different face. Im swollen, I’m not gonna lie, but nearly as much as the first couple of days. Still you can see that the shape of my face looks diferent, it looks more square-ish. I guess that’s something I’m gonna have to deal with. I liked my front looks before surgery, I didn’t wanted to change front-wise. I’ve had a couple of friends visit me and they dont notice a drastic change, although they do tell me that I look a little bit different. I went to my first post-op appointment (although my surgeon wasnt there, he’s on vacation). I got attended by his right hand doctor, who is very nice. She said my recovery was going great, that I should spend a couple of days at home. I feel like I will be able to go out and party ( before the surgery I used to party from thursday-saturday nights,every week) pretty soon. Actually I feel like I would be able to do it right now, I just dont want all the people to see me right now, as I’m still a little bit swollen and my face does looks different. Anyways, I got 2 elastics on right now, the doctor who attended me in the post-op appointment put those on, and she said I was going to be wearing those anywhere from 1-2 weeks if I wear them 24/7. She said that I should take them out to eat, but they’re just to hard to put back on so I eat with them on. I can open my mouth so that I can get the spoon in it and eat.

    About 6 months ago I really got into surfing and was doing it at least 2 times a week before surgery. Its been a month since I’ve been on the water now. I really miss it. I got a Nicaragua surfing trip booked for April 18th. I need to be in shape for this, so I plan to start swimming on January 15th (approved by doctor). I think I could be back at surfing on February. It’s only been 12 days and I’ve been feeling normal since day 7 at least (energy-wise).

    Other than that, I would suggest to people that will be taking this surgery to ask their doctors if they could take any less strong pain killer than Vicodin like I did. The first 3 days are gonna be a NIGHTMARE (and yes, believe me, they were TOUGH) but after day 5 you will be back to normal. I couldnt even stand up from bed by my self from day 1-3.

    Also, one of my cheeks looks/feel like it not swollen at all, while the other side of the face still looks/feel swollen. My chin still is pretty swollen. I would say I got about 50% feeling on my left side of my chin/face and about 20% on the right side (same side that is more swollen). My teeth my left side of the jaw are touching (top and lower) and it doesn’t hurt at all. Teeth on my right side of jaw are touching slightly less but it does hurt when I touch them a little bit harder. Any ideas on this?

    Other than that would like to ask you when do you think that the rest of my swelling will go away (not completly, I know it takes 1 or 2 months), but I start next semester on January 8th and I’m kinda nervous about people looking at me the way I am now.

    Also, I can speak almost like I used to before surgery. I would say I’m speaking right now like somebody on day 1 with those retainer (the ones you get after you get your bracers removed from your teeth). (a little bit funny, but its not terrible).

    Thanks a lot man, sorry for my bad english.

    pd: I have been trying to post since day 2, but havent been able to. Lets hope this time works since I’m doing it from a different computer.

    Sorry for the long post

  307. Juan Carlos December 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    Also, when do you think that itll be ok to start smoking again? I know its bad for me and all, but I really miss smoking a cigarete every once in a while. Im almost in the two week mark, should I still be worried about getting a dry socket from the removal of my wisdom teeth?

    Thanks again

  308. Juan Carlos December 29, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    Also, they told me to stop smoking at least 1.5 months before the surgery. I couldnt do it. But I did reduce the smoking from 1 pack a day to 3-10 cigaretes per week. Sorry for the triple post.

  309. Graham December 29, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    Hey Juan Carlos,

    Your recovery sounds fairly spot on, though you appear to be moving forward a lot more quickly than I did. You’re lucky, man.

    Since it’s only been 2 weeks since your surgery, chances are your swelling will remain in a noticeable fashion for at least another month. I wouldn’t worry about what people at school think of you, though. You may be surprised at how accepting people are (especially when they find out you recently underwent jaw surgery). It will also give you a great story to tell!

    As for smoking, I cannot say since I’m not a smoker myself. I would caution you against smoking for another 3–4 weeks until all of the open wounds in your mouth heal, though. Cigarettes are a quick way to cause infection. Best of luck in this venture. I know it can be tough. Stay strong, my friend!

  310. Juan Carlos December 29, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    Hey, thanks for the fast response. I would like to thank you for keeping this blog up, its awesome to see that you still care for the people undergoing this surgery even though yours was a long time ago!

    Anyways, it’s not school, its college. Im just scared that people will judge me. I just really didn’t want to change after the surgery, at least front side speaking. But I guess I’m gonna have to deal with that and just get used to it.


  311. Juan Carlos December 29, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    Ah. I always seem to want to post another thought once I post my first one, ha. Anyways, don’t get me wrong. My swelling is not crazy right now. I’ve been going out and haven’t got ONE weird look yet. I guess if somebody that didn’t know me before the surgery sees me and would think that this is how my face is. Its just kinda fat, but its does not looks as if I just went under surgery. Maybe on one side a little, but I’m sure that that will go away for when I start class.

  312. Juan Carlos December 29, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    here it goes, once again. I’ve been getting at least 8 hours+ sleep every night since day 4 or 5. Just wanted to add that.

  313. Lee Ann January 17, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    Graham, Thanks for so much for your blog it’s awesome! My question is I’m 3 weeks post op today and I still have numbness and swelling of course but when I talk the lower left corner of my lip doesn’t move with the rest of my mouth. Did you or do you know of anyone who may have went thru this? Really scaring me, I ventured out yesterday for the 1st time and my friend pointed it out that if it was for my lip that I would just appear to have chubby cheeks.
    what’s odd also is my right side is still really swollen but I can feel my teeth, but my left side is almost back to normal and can’t feel my teeth or move my lower lip in the corner. Just nervous and it may be to early to worry but I’m still worried.

  314. Graham January 18, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    Lee Ann, this has to be the most common question I’ve received over the past few years. You can rest assured that, as time goes on, your nerves should reawaken and your lips will begin to function normally again. Try not to stress about numbness until at least two months have passed. =)

  315. Jamie January 21, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Hi Graham,

    Your blog is amazing. I can’t begin to tell you have helpful it is to read everything that you and all of these other recoveries have written. It’s so nice to know I’m not alone.
    I’m a little past the four week mark. :) There are a few things that I’m growing concerned about: my midline is no longer centered, my left side jaw closes before right does and I still have no feeling in my lips, nose, or chin. My cheeks are starting to come back to life. Is all of this normal? Any advice would be helpful. And thanks for keeping up with your blog!

  316. lamia sheikh January 22, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    my question is this that my face is looking very different and swelling is not gone after 3 months of my surgery,i looked very fat from face because of swelling ,what should i do?

  317. Graham January 25, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    Jamie, being at the 4-week mark means that you still have a lot of swelling and residual numbness. Your midline alignment and lack of feeling should correct themselves during these next few months. Your open bite, however, may take a little longer, but I assure you that will resolve itself as well. My open bite took approximately 6 months to close. The name of the game is patience, my friend! =)

  318. Graham January 25, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    Lamia, if you’re still quite swollen after 3 months of recovery, I would ask your surgeon if there is any reason that your swelling may not be going away. I haven’t met anyone who is still noticeably swollen at that point, so you may need to do some exercises to break up the scar tissue. Give your surgeon a call. They’ll know best. =)

  319. Jamie January 26, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    Hey Graham! Thanks for your response!! I recently saw my orthodontist and we are working on fixing my concerns. And I can already see and feel the difference and I like where things are headed.
    The age old question, I’m at week 5 today (can’t believe it’s already been 5 whole weeks!!!!!) and I have the pins and needle feeling in a lot of the areas of my face. Any idea how much longer until they back to life. As you read, my patience is the size of a grape.
    Thanks again Graham!!!

  320. Graham January 26, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    Haha, patience the size of a grape, nice. Feeling returns at different points for every person, but don’t be surprised if remnants of feeling continue to return all the way to the 4-month mark. Certainly don’t worry until you’ve been at this game for at least 3 months. =)

  321. James January 27, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    I just had double jaw/chin surgery with a wisdom tooth removal 2 weeks ago.
    i suspect i am gonna be wired for 2-4 more weeks (very very tight elastics actually).
    I was swollen quite bad for the first week, but things are slowly coming down. bruising was surprisingly mimimal and pain was surprisingly low.
    I have NO FEELING in my lower lip, and my chin is tingling all the frickin time. Really hoping the lip sensation returns 100%, as i tend to drool quite a bit. kinda funny actually.

    I am already brushing my teeth up with a baby toothbrush, but i need some remedy for my inside of my mouth. it is driving me crazy, the feeling of gunky teeth.., more so than the tingling, the stretched mouth soreness, the little twangs of pain that comes and goes or the syringe drinking.. lol
    Does anyone have any remedies?

  322. Graham January 27, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    James, I understand the frustrating feeling you’re experiencing, but unfortunately, there’s no way to really clean your teeth until you can brush and floss with a bit more vigor. Try gurgling with warm salt water after each meal to ensure your mouth is actually clean (even though it may not feel that way). You’ll feel fresh again soon, but until then, it’s honestly a game of patience. Give yourself a couple more weeks, my friend. =)

  323. Vicky January 27, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    Is it normal to experience an altered sense of hearing after the surgery? Personally I’m hearing things at a lower pitch than their original pitch and it’s kind of bothering me that this might be permanent

  324. Graham January 27, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    Vicky, I haven’t met anyone who has experienced a change in their hearing following surgery. I don’t reckon the operation touches anything that should affect your hearing, but if it’s worrying you, perhaps it’s best to give your surgeon a call and ask.

  325. Terry January 30, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

    Graham, were you lucky enough to have any insurance cover your procedure? I haven’t checked with my insurance carrier but I don’t see anything in my policy.

  326. Graham January 31, 2013 at 6:19 am #

    Terry, since I’m a Canadian citizen, my province covered about 90% of my surgery. You’ll have to call your insurer, though. I’ve heard it can be a battle in some cases. The trick is to have your surgeon vouch for the operation being “medically necessary to prevent future complications such at TMJ (lock jaw).” =)

  327. Terry January 31, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

    Thanks Graham, I do believe that my surgery will be covered, but the surgeons fees are going to run between $7000-$8000. Guess I need to call my insurance company.

  328. Graham January 31, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    Terry, my surgeon fees in Canada were $5000 and I had to pay that out of my own pocket. The hospital stay and drugs, however, were covered by my healthcare. If you have private insurance, you may be able to get the surgeon’s fees covered as well.

  329. Jason February 1, 2013 at 6:18 am #

    Hello, my son just had jaw surgery and today we discovered that he might not have been using his syringe correctly to eat. We gave him some Campbells soup to drink today (he uses the syringe on the right side of his mouth) and after drinking his right side was getting larger and larger. We thought it was just swelling until he spat out remnant soup a few hours later and his right side went down. I’m worried that this may impact his oral hygiene in the long run if he’s been keeping remnant liquid (e.g.: Ensure) at the side of his mouth. Any tips on how to get food completely down your throat and ensure it’s not stuck to the sides or is this completely normal?

  330. Graham February 2, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    Jason, during the early days of recovery, your son may have to drink thinner foods. Soups work great, but make sure they have no chunks of food in them. Tomato soup and chicken broth work great for this. You may try watering the food down as well. He should be able to open his mouth and swallow chunkier soups by the second week of recovery. Best of luck! =)

  331. Terry February 2, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    Graham, how long before you were driving? I’m going to call my insurance company as I have heard that if you drive before two weeks after surgery and get in an accident that it may not be covered.

  332. Graham February 6, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    Terry, I’m not sure what the official rules are regarding driving after a surgery such as this one, but I was driving at two weeks post-op. The only thing I had to watch was my energy (to ensure I stayed awake), but I didn’t have any issues with driving.

  333. Andrew February 15, 2013 at 4:32 am #

    Hi Graham,
    Will you please tell me ,how much time does it takes to completely recover after surgery?( means i can easily move my jaws, eat anything)
    Will i have to quit some food items forever?
    After surgery will i have to stay in the hospital? if yes then how many days?

  334. Graham February 15, 2013 at 5:15 am #

    Andrew, it will be approximately three months before you can comfortably eat most anything again. You won’t have to give up any foods forever, thankfully. And patients generally stay in the hospital for 1–2 nights following surgery, but I’d recommend you staying with someone who can somewhat take care of you for a few days after that as well. =)

  335. Diane February 16, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    My son was told he must have had an injury when he was younger (he’s 16 now) that stopped the growth of his jaw. He is also missing the two ball joints on each side that opens and closes his mouth. It looks like the only thing that is holding it on are the muscles. His operation would be very invasive but he is more than happy to have it done. We have to wait six months to make sure he has stopped growing. Does anyone else know of or have this problem as well.

  336. Graham February 18, 2013 at 3:53 am #

    Diane, while I’ve never heard of your son’s arrangement, I would get a few opinions from different surgeons to see what the general consensus is. Whatever the case, ensure his x-rays show that his jaw is definitely finished growing because the surgery will be in vain if that is not the case. That’s the only reason I waited until I was 24 years old to have the operation. Best of luck!

  337. Jimmy February 28, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    Hey Graham,

    I am post op a week and 3 days and my bottom lip is huge. I had bigger then average lips to begin with but they have gotten bigger! I just had my lower jaw moved forward 5 mm. Do you think my lips will go back down to the size they were before?

  338. Shannon March 1, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    Hi Graham,
    I too am an Albertan and I was just wondering what the wait time to get in for surgery was like for you. I’m about to ger my official diagnosis in a few days, but unofficially, I’ve been told I have an open bite and a cross bite that will need to be corrected with surgery and braces of course. I know I waited just over a year to get into the Orthodontist for an initial consultation so I’m just curious what kind of wait times I’m looking at.
    Thanks also for creating this page! It’s fantastic for people that are a bit spazzy like me! :)

  339. Terry March 1, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    Wow Shannon, a year to get into the orthodontist! Where do you live in Alberta? I am in Victoria and from the time I had a visit with my dentist, then to a prothodontist, to the orthodontist to having my braces on, took about 5 weeks. I saw the surgeon for the first time this past November, was originally scheduled for lower jaw surgery for Feb.22nd but it was changed to May because they decided to do both the upper and lower jaw. When I lived in northern BC it took at least 6 months before my kids got into the orthodontist.

  340. Shannon March 4, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    @ Terry,
    I live in Red Deer. I suppose if I were willing to travel back and forth to Calgary or Edmonton, I might have been able to get in quicker, but I’m not sure, I never bothered to check as my procrastination over having my jaw finally dealt with kicked in. I was told almost 1- years ago that this would be coming, but I was hoping if I waited long enough medical advances would come along and *poof* I’d be fixed without having to endure braces and jaw surgery. It’s finally gotten to the point where I can’t avaoid it anymore and I realize that if I had pulled up my socks in the first place and dealt with it, I might not be in the predicament I’m in now with TMJ and enamel wear. Ah well, live and learn! I get the bad news tomorrow, and the cost is definitely my biggest concern.

  341. Jade Westington March 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    wow i totally did not think that it was so hard for me to breathe through my nose that it was because of my underbite!
    my surgery is on March 26! 19 days!!!!!!
    im so excited AND so nervous but the way you describe everything on here makes me feel much better!
    thank you so much!

  342. Brent March 9, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Hi Graham (or anyone on here who has had double jaw surgery),

    I just got offered a surgery date of May 22! However, that date is 23 days before my convocation.. Judging by what I’ve read here I would most likely be able to walk across a stage and receive my degree at this point in my recovery, but how much would it limit my ability to enjoy the day (celebrating with friends, family, etc.)?

    Thanks for your awesome blog!


  343. Andrew March 13, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

    prior to surgery..the surgeon extracts wisdom tooth…is it painful? and will i have to live without those for the rest of my life?

  344. Shannon March 15, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    @ Andrew,
    While I haven’t ever had jaw surgery, I have had all 4 wisdom teeth removed. It’s not a big deal at all living without them. Your smile looks the same. It is painful, and your face will swell, but if you’re getting this all done at one time-wisdom teeth removed and jaw surgery, the fact that you have no wisdom teeth will probably be the least of your concerns. You’ll be on pain meds that will take care of that. My face only swelled a little bit after I got my wisdom teeth out, but my friends was huge…I guess it depends on the person and the attitude. The swelling was gone in about 3 days for me, her too. People live without wisdom teeth all the time-apparently they’re almost like extra teeth we don’t need as many people’s jaws are too small for that many teeth. I think it’s probably an evolution thing….

  345. Chelsea March 19, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    Hey Graham,
    I’m about to rant so please, sit back and enjoy the show! I am only 16 and within a year I am going to have to have a double jaw surgery. They are also going go remove the tip of my chin during the surgery. I am really nervous and scared and angry. I don’t want to go through this and it seems unreal that it’s actually happening! (I get braces in two days so the process is really beginning) I am also a competitive swimmer and I am in high school so I was wondering if you think i will be back in school 2 weeks after the surgery and back in the pool 3-4 weeks after the surgery? I don’t have a choice about going through this surgery (it was decided by my parents) so I figure the least I could do is be prepared. I’m really upset and nervous. Even after reading this I don’t know what to expect; mainly because i don’t know how well I will respond to the surgery. Any and all advice is GREATLY appreciated. Thanks a ton!

  346. Graham March 20, 2013 at 12:55 am #

    Jimmy, your lips will return to their regular size. The only reason they are bigger right now is because they are ridiculously swollen. =)

  347. Graham March 20, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    Shannon, I’m honestly not sure what the wait times for jaw surgery in Alberta are at the moment. When my orthodontist deemed me ready for the operation, I had a surgery date with about two months. It’s primarily dependent on when you’re available to have the surgery, ensuring it fits in with your work and schooling and such. I encourage you to go talk with an oral surgeon, as they’ll be able to give you a better answer.

  348. Graham March 20, 2013 at 1:52 am #

    Jade, I just wanted to send some positive feelings your way for your surgery coming up next week. Make sure you have some smoothie ingredients and you’ll do absolutely great during your first few weeks of recovery. I’m excited for you!

  349. Graham March 20, 2013 at 2:08 am #

    Brent, you likely won’t be in the best of shape at only 23 days post-op. You’ll be able to attend your convocation and be alert with no trouble, but your speech may not be perfectly clear and you might not be able to eat solid food yet (depending on how intense your operation is). You’ll also be incredibly swollen, so your photos will be very memorable. It’s your call, of course. I’d go ahead with it simply to get it out of the way. If you want perfect convocation photos, you can always go back for another degree. =)

  350. Graham March 20, 2013 at 2:32 am #

    Hi Chelsea!

    I consider you lucky for being able to put this operation behind you at such a young age, though I understand it’s frustrating to deal with it while you’re in school.

    You’ll be able to head back to school within two weeks of having the surgery, but you’ll likely be very tired and have difficulty speaking perfectly clearly. As for swimming, it might be closer to 5–6 weeks before you have enough energy back to push forward at your previous pace. Your swimming will come back quickly once you’re back in the pool, though.

    Make sure your parents are absolutely confident that your jaw is no longer growing. The reason I had to wait until I was 25 years old to have the surgery is because my orthodontist was waiting for my jaw to stop growing (to ensure the surgery never had to be corrected). I’m sure both your parents and your surgeon have done their homework, though.

    Try to view this as an opportunity rather than a punishment. It’s something you won’t have to deal with later in life, which is a good thing! =)

  351. Matt T March 29, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

    Hey everyone,
    I just had upper jaw surgery a week ago and I already have all my energy back. My doctor told me that I’m healing faster than he expected. And we’ll since I’m 21 I was wondering how long after surgery can I start drinking? 😛

  352. Graham March 30, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    Matt, you should be able to start drinking alcohol again as soon as the cuts inside your mouth heal. The only reasons you should stay away from alcohol is if it will react badly with any medicine you might be taking, it’ll kill your energy levels and cause you to heal more slowly, or it will cause infections in open wounds inside your mouth. If you’re sure none of these things will be an issue, I say go for it! =)

  353. Sierra April 4, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    How long do you think it would take before I could go back to playing soccer after my double jaw surgery?

  354. nicole April 7, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

    I’ve had double jaw and genioplasty april 2nd and I’m feeling absolutely fantastic….howerver…this mucus in my nose was driving me nuts, so I have been lightly blowing out through my nose to clear it. More like holding my breath and blowing out through my nose I understand that this probably shouldn’t be done and now have myselff completely paranoid at what damage I have caused myself!!! What’s the worse that can happen? Could I have damaged something? HELP

  355. Graham April 8, 2013 at 12:23 am #

    Sierra, I would stay away from a sport such as soccer for 6–8 weeks. If you were to get hit in the face with a soccer ball, it could prolong your recovery in a big way. I returned to the gym at 6 weeks post-op, but I didn’t play any potential contact sports for the full 12 weeks. Whatever you do, be mindful of the fact that your jaw is in a weaker state.

  356. Graham April 8, 2013 at 12:53 am #

    Nicole, the reason for not blowing your nose is because blood clots form in your nostrils following the surgery and, if they’re destroyed, your nose will start bleeding again. As long as your nose is not bleeding uncontrollably, you’ll be perfectly fine. Just be very gentle when cleaning your nostrils. =)

  357. nicole April 9, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    Thank u Graham for the last response!!I have another question….I’m having a hard time adjusting to my nose it seems to tilt up a little too much for my liking….is it possible to go down slightly with the swelling and how long before all the swelling is gone?

  358. Graham April 9, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    Nicole, I wasn’t a huge fan of the way my nose looked post-op either, but once my swelling went away and I began to see my new face in the mirror each morning, I realized that I was the only person who thought anything of it. Remember that you are your own worst critic, and give your swelling a chance to subside before you pass any judgements on yourself. =)

  359. Anthony April 14, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    Dear Graham,
    I had double jaw surgery at Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles, On April 10th 2013. I really appreciate this site and had help me with reducing my anxiety. It was successful, I have a better bite now. I had a under bite and an open bite. Thanks for still helping me and others get through this journey. I hope you are doing well.

  360. Graham April 15, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    Anthony, you have an incredibly positive outlook considering you’re in your first week of recovery. If you’re already happy, you’ll have no trouble at all with the remaining weeks of healing. Glad you’re happy with the results!

  361. Yalda April 20, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Hi Graham, I’m in day 3 of surgery and my jaw is still pretty stiff I was wondering how long before this severe discomfort goes away ? :(

  362. Graham April 21, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    Yalda, you’ll be fairly uncomfortable for first two weeks, but life will become a lot more pleasant after that. You’re already 25% of the way through the tough period, so try to keep positive. Go for walks every day, find a good television series to watch, and you’ll be back in action before you know it!

  363. Yalda April 21, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    Thanks so much for the advice. I actually feel much better than yesterday :-)

  364. Lance April 30, 2013 at 4:04 am #

    Hi, Graham!

    I’ve been told not to start chewing until my second month mark, but I started secretly chewing three weeks early. It’s obviously a bad idea, but I am afraid it might have caused something that should not have happened.

    What’s your intake on this?

  365. Graham April 30, 2013 at 7:34 am #

    Lance, it depends on your situation. You certainly don’t want to throw your jaws out of whack, nor do you want to get an infection from food piling up beneath your splint (if you have one). However, if you can maintain your oral hygiene and ensure you only eat soft foods (cut into small pieces and chewed very slowly and cautiously), you should be okay. Just don’t try to eat a steak or a handful of walnuts or something. =)

  366. Leandro April 30, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    Hi Graham.

    I want to ask you two questions:

    1) How do your upper gums feels now? I am talking about numbness, tightness because of the scars, etc.
    I am asking this because I have had SARPE surgery in my upper jaw, and my left side is OK but my right side feels kinda tight and weird feeling in the area where the surgeon had to cut and suture.

    2) Is it annoying to have metal in your mouth (titanium plates and screw) or do you feel OK with them?

    Thanks in advance, I am undergoing upper jaw surgery in few months.

  367. Graham May 1, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    Hi Leandro,

    1) My gums all feel perfectly normal, but that took approximately 5 months of recovery.

    2) I don’t feel any of the metal in my jaws. In fact, I forgot I even had it until you just mentioned it now! =)

    Give yourself a healthy recovery period following the operation and you’ll feel even better than before!

  368. Nicole May 7, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    It has been 5 weeks this past tues since I’ve had double jaw surgery and genio. Im feeling extreme anxiety that I cannot feel bottom lip or chin yet. I have not experienced any of the tickling I had in past weeks either..Please dear god tell me the feeling is going to come back

  369. Graham May 8, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Nicole, try not to worry about it for another month at least. And in the situation that you’re left with some permanent numbness, trust me when I tell you that it will not affect you in any dire way. As I’ve mentioned before, I completely forget that I have permanent numbness in my lower lip and chin until somebody asks about it. I promise you’ll be okay, and it will still likely return. Think positive, my friend!

  370. Nicole May 8, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    Thanks Graham….I will give you a 4 week break from my next meltdown lol. Have a great night!!!

  371. Sharron May 16, 2013 at 7:29 am #

    Hi Graham,

    My son, Kyle, is having the surgery in 26 days. He’s 17 1/2. After looking at x-rays, the dentist, orthodontist, and oral surgeon have all agreed he’s quit growing and it’s okay to do the surgery. He’s having double jaw surgery plus a chin reduction. I’m freaking out. I’ve also started a blog to process my emotions. Thanks for sharing your story. It helps me a lot to get ideas on what to expect. It’s all of a sudden here, and I don’t know if I am ready for this or not!

  372. Graham May 16, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Sharron, since Kyle is a young guy, he’ll heal up very quickly. If you’re read through my recovery tips page, you’ll be as ready as you can be to care for him over the course of the first few weeks. Remember to keep positive so that you’re lifting him up throughout the process. =)

  373. Nathalie May 18, 2013 at 4:22 am #

    May I know what does jaw spasm feel like?
    I’ve done rhinoplasty and I did not feel pain at all.
    And I wear braces for the first time, and my teeth and jaw feel sore, but it still bearable.
    I wonder about jaw spasm :(

  374. Graham May 18, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    Nathalie, you’ll know if you’re experiencing the spasms. It will simply feel like your jaw is trying to open, as if you’re opening your mouth very wide. A rhinoplasty will not result in anything of this nature—it only occurs when you have surgery on an actual joint (such as your jaw).

  375. Daniel May 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    Hi I’ve just had jaw surgery 3 weeks ago Does it matter if I have mash with beans and sausage and stuff like that ect blended because my surgeon said to have soft diet and not to chew which with that I don’t chew but most people on here have said they was on a liquid diet I’ve been told I can have eggs soft sponges rice puddings weatabix soups is this right because I dont want it to affect the healing process

  376. Graham May 20, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    Daniel, as long as you’re not chewing and putting any strain on your jaw, you’ll be perfectly alright. Let your pain be your guide. If you’re able to get mashed potatoes and beans down with no pain, I say go for it. The reason surgeons recommend pure liquid diets initially is because most patients are unable to open their mouth wide enough to get a spoon of soft food in, so they’re forced to drink all of their meals. If you have no trouble getting soft foods in at this point, then eating them will not cause any harm. Enjoy the potatoes! =)

  377. Daniel May 20, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    Thanks for the reassurance and yea no pain and and swelling went down well quick orthodontist was really surprised so think am up for a good recovery I find out more on 28th may anyway thanks again this blog has helped me a lot

  378. Michelle May 23, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    I’m 23 days post-op from double jaw + chin implant. First week was horrible, I could feel the bones on upper front jaw which was quite uncomfortable. Chin was the worst; muscles around my mouth pulled like there was no tomorrow. Face muscles would tighten up after I suck on straw or spoon. My question, when should I expect to be able to open my mouth wider than a pinkey finger? I’m on liquid diet and mashed potatoes. Wearing elastic on front but only a few hrs/day…that is what i could tolerate. Going back to surgeon tomorrow to review progress. Chin is numb on right side but fine on left. I agree Jaw surgery was not very painful but the tighted muscles on the jaw line and front (upper & lower) was the pits. Slept on the couch for the first 2 wks but now I’m back to bed with 3 pillows (sitting position). I’ve gotten more info from your blog than from my surgeon, thanks for having this venue for us to learn what to expect.

  379. Graham May 24, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    Michelle, your jaw will be tight until the swelling goes down, so you’ll probably be on a soft diet for another few weeks. Once you’re able to chew gum and eat soft solid food (with approval from your surgeon), you’ll notice your jaw loosening up quite quickly. You shouldn’t expect to have your full range of motion back until the 4-month mark, though, as the muscles take a while to stretch out again. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel—you’ve just got to be patient while chasing it! =)

  380. Lauren May 29, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    Hi Graham,
    It has been a week and a day since my jaw surgery. I just had my lower jaw moved back and now have metal plates and screws. Almost all of my swelling has gone down and I have no pain. But I am starving for real food! I have a fast metabolism and don’t need to lose any weight so I get frustrated a lot. But I found your blog today and must say, it has calmed me down so much and made me feel positive again! Thank you so much for still keeping up with comments so long after your surgery! It helps knowing so many other people understand what I’m going through. All of my questions were answered from previous comments and questions, just wanted to let you know how truly helpful this is! Thanks again!

  381. shaun June 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    its been almost 1 month now post op,
    1. My right side of chin and lower lip were comletely numb and now almost 90% of the sensation has returned. (but i dint feel tingling and pain while my sensations returned , is it normal?)
    2. Almost 90% of the swelling has gone and im not eating normal food, so when can i expect the remaining 10% of swelling to go?
    3. Now can i start my excercises like jogging etc and start on a strict diet as i want to get back in shape as soon as possible
    4. I have stopped eating anti biotics now but do i still need to gargle my mouth with hydrogen peroxide?

  382. Graham June 3, 2013 at 1:09 am #

    Lauren, I understand your frustration, especially when it comes to not being able to eat. I’m glad you found some comfort in these words and I look forward to you being to embrace life in full form again soon!

  383. Graham June 3, 2013 at 1:27 am #

    Shaun, to answer your questions:

    1) That’s great to hear that most of your feeling has already returned. That’s really quick!

    2) The remaining swelling will take longer to disappear than the first 90%, but it should all be gone within 4–6 weeks from now.

    3) You can start exercising again generally around the 6-week mark, but make sure you get your surgeon’s approval.

    4) You should gargle salt water until you’re able to brush and floss your teeth on a daily basis again.

    It sounds like your recovery is progressing very well!

  384. Julie June 4, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    Your blog has been extremely helpful, thank you! I’m having double jaw surgery the end of this month and had a question for you. How much care do you need after surgery? Will my mom need to be around 24/7 to care for me the first week? When will you be able to leave the house and run an errand? Thanks for your help!


  385. Terry June 4, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

    Julie, I will let graham answer your question but I just had double jaw surgery on May 17th. I spent two nights in the hospital and when I came home on Sunday my husband was home until Wed, my daughter was home and my mom flew out west to help out. The first week I was really glad that I had someone here all the time just for the company and to help around the house. I don’t know if you will need your mom 24/7 but I was glad there was someone with me. Once you get into the second week it’s not as bad. I didn’t leave the house until I had my first post-op appointment which was 10 days after surgery and even then I had my daughter drive me into my appointment as I took some pain meds before I left. You may get very tired after doing little things. I am 18 days post-op now and I’m out and about and trying to go for a walk every evening. I took 4 weeks off of work as I am a supervisor and have to talk a lot which is exhausting at this point. Hope this helps.

  386. Graham June 5, 2013 at 9:20 am #

    Julie, you’ll have a lot of difficulty maintaining energy and communicating for the first couple of weeks, so having someone there to take you out is preferred. You don’t require 24-hour care, but definitely have someone around each day. You should have enough energy to go run errands on your own after the first week has passed. Terry’s advice is your best bet at this point because their experience is much more recent than mine. Good luck with the surgery in a few weeks!

  387. JANET June 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    Everyone has been so helpful…asking ??s and answering them. I’m a 51 yr old trying to decide if having jaw surgery would be worth it?! I’m experiencing a shooting pain down the left side from my jaw joint to my neck. Too, the left side pops on occasion when i yawn really wide. I appreciate what everyone wrote. I’m guessing the majority of you that have had it done would say…DO IT?!

  388. Graham June 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    Janet, I certainly have only great things to say about the outcome of this surgery, however it’s different for every person. If you’ve been experiencing this pain for more than a few months, book an appointment with an oral surgeon and go for a consultation. Figure out if jaw surgery is actually a prospect before investing too much energy in deciding it it’s the right path for you. =)

  389. Michelle June 11, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    Janet, I agree with Graham, everyone is different…i most definitely would recommend the surgery, was not very painful to recover but know that soft foods will be required for the first few weeks, so eat all tr favorite foods now ;). You will do well n feel great after it is all dine. I had my surgery 6 wks ago n is still recovering.

  390. kala June 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    I am 46 and on day five after having double jaw surgery to move both upper and lower forward to correct overbite and address sleep apnea. Love this blog. I am wondering if there are many out there in the older adult range such as 45+ having this done. I saw the comment from Janet and she is the first of just a few that I have found posted. I may start a blog for us seniors, but just have to say this is one of the most helpful resources by far.

  391. Terry June 12, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    Kala, I turned 46 exactly one week after my double jaw surgery. It will be 4 weeks this Friday coming since my surgery. The first week was awful, but it has been progressively getting better. I am still having trouble sleeping all night. I was given the go ahead to eat soft foods this week but I am having trouble getting food into my mouth with my elastics in. I’m going back to the surgeon next week and I will ask him if I can take the elastics off to eat. I am also scheduled to go back to work next Wed but I am thinking I may take the entire week off and return the following Monday, that will be 5weeks off of work. Good luck with your recovery.

  392. Sheryl June 12, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

    @Kayla and Terry – I am 48 and on day 6 of post op after double jaw surgery in Ontario. It is almost 2 in the morning so yes sleeping is an issue! I am very lucky that I have had minimal pain. The only thing that is driving me crazy at this point is the numbness! Saw my surgeon today and got x rays and he said things look great! I have been doing ok with the lack of real food until my family decides to eat in front of me and the smells drive me to salivating! I have also been sleeping…haha…or not sleeping on the couch and using a wedge pillow to stay elevated……..was recommended but now I don’t know how long I should use it?! Will check back to see if there are any suggestions and also looking forward to some home made soup tomorrow!

  393. Graham June 13, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    Kala, being 46 does not make you a senior! You’re only halfway to bliss, my dear girl!

  394. Kala June 14, 2013 at 12:15 am #

    Thanks everyone for the great responses. @Terry & Sheryl I am so glad to hear from you both. I wondered if there were many people having it done after 40. Do either of you have blogs? I would love to chat or email with you to see how it is going. On day 6 now and I was out walking the dogs, making meals for the kids and back to normal. Aside from having to eat strained food. Oh and looking a little like Fiona from Shrek. @Terry ~ I am going to Maui for two weeks at my 4 week point. A wedding so I can’t skip it. How would you feel if you were flying out in a day or so? Obviously no snorkeling. Thanks again Graham and sorry to fill up this page with my own chat.

  395. Terry June 14, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

    Kala, you should be ok for the wedding. I am still swollen and puffy but its not too bad. Today I had to go lay down for a bit because I was just tired, not sleeping to great at night yet, no pain but just hard to get comfortable. Hopefully you will be able to eat more by then. I didn’t do a blog, and if you were doing those things on day 6 you should be good by week 4. My chin, lower lip and nostrils are still completely numb but I am having lots of pins and needles. I’m not sure about going back to work next week as I do a lot of talking and my speech is not great yet and a lot of words I really have to strain to say. If someone told me I could fly to Maui for two weeks I would definitely be on the flight. Relax in Maui and enjoy the wedding.

  396. Sheryl June 15, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    @ Kayla, I am just sitting down for the evening treatment of ice cube and heat alternating so I can get the nerves regenerating! I also have been full steam ahead but realize I might need to slow down a bit as I am exhausted. I also don’t blog but you can email me @ sure would like to have a “partner in crime” so to speak as the weeks go by and people forget about what we are going through……not being able to talk normally, numbness and of course the lack of real food!

  397. Terry June 15, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    Sheryl and Kayla, my email is if you want to chat. Sheryl, I really thought the heat helped a lot! I used a heating pad on my face, it stayed hotter a lot longer then the pads, and it really helped with the pins and needle feelings. I changed my own elastics today:), and on a sadder note my youngest daughter moved away today and it really hurt to cry at the airport. My mom leaves on Tuesday so the waterworks will be on again!

  398. Kala June 15, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    @Sheryl & Terry ~ I will be in touch by email. I had my first real night of sleep starting from midnight and slept until 10. Crazy nice feeling. Thank you both. @ Terry hope you are able to cry softly and not hurt when mom takes off. hang in there.

  399. Sheryl June 17, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    @Terry – so sorry to hear abut your daughter and you mom…..both moving? How far? My Mom lives 2 thousand miles away and we still are the best of friends…talk all the time so don’t get too discouraged!
    I haven’t tried the heating pad but will keep it in mind! I am venturing out in public a lot more and I am going to a concert tomorrow night (Tom Petty!) and going out for dinner first which will be the true challenge! Iicked the restaurant and the soups sounded awesome so wish me luck! Take care, Sheryl

  400. Terry June 17, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    Sheryl, I live in British Columbia and my mom lives in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, so a whole country away! FaceTime is a wonderful thing! We took my mom and daughter out to the pub for supper on Thursday and I managed 12 sweet potatoe fries cut up very small. I haven’t tried soup yet because I can’t get a spoon in between my teeth unless I turn it upside down and that just won’t work with soup! LOL

  401. Chelsea June 20, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    Hey Graham, I am 17 & I am getting the same surgery in one month I am sooooo stressed & very very nervous!!! I was originally suppose to get double Jaw surgery, but I saw my surgeon this week & he said that I could get by with just doing upper jaw surgery & then just softening the jaw on the bottom which means just shaving some of the bone off on my bottom jaw & shaping it… So now I am even more overwhelmed… Do you think my surgeon is leading me in the right direction with just moving my upper jaw forward and softening the bottom? My surgeon also said that this could be less risky with losing any nerve damage & would be a faster recovery. I would also like to ask did you get double jaw surgery or just upper jaw surgery? I would really like some advice & encouragement :) Thank you so much!!

  402. Graham June 21, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    Hi Chelsea!

    I had double jaw surgery because my surgeon felt he needed to reshape my upper palette as well as shorten my lower jaw (which is what “softening” is—removing a tiny bit of bony from each side). This is completely at the surgeon’s discretion and honestly, you just need to make sure you feel comfortable trusting their judgement. It’s almost always better to have just a single jaw operated on versus having both of them altered. Permanent nerve damage generally results from working on the lower jaw, so this may be to your advantage.

    I would personally follow your surgeon’s recommendation, especially if they’re leading you towards having only one jaw operated on. =)

  403. Andy July 2, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    Hi Graham,

    I had double jaw surgery 2 weeks ago and had my splint off a few days ago, however I seem to have developed a worse lisp at the moment. I still have some minor swelling and it’s going to be a few weeks before its mostly gone. Do you think the lisp will eventually subside? I’m going to speak to my surgeon next week but thought I’d ask your opinion on the matter, too. Did you have any issues with your speech?


  404. Graham July 3, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    Andy, I found my lisp actually went away after the surgery. I wouldn’t worry about anything until you’re at least a full month into recovery, though. Wait another two weeks and if you still find you have your lisp, ask your surgeon if they’ve had any other patients experience the same thing. Best of luck! =)

  405. Andy July 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    Graham, thanks for the advice and fast response.

    I have a feeling it may be a combination of swelling and maybe elastics at this point. Hopefully it subsides soon, as this is the only problem I’m having right now. I’ve been quite lucky as I haven’t had a large amount of swelling or bruising, and my bite has been perfect so far. The results are really great. I’m still waiting for my face to return to normal, though. Nose is off centre and one side of my lip is fatter than the other! But this should all settle down when the swelling gradually goes away. Hopefully!!

    Great blog by the way, it really helped me through my first week!

  406. Maureen July 3, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    Graham, my daughter is 19 days post op from double jaw with genio-she is 15yrs old. Recovery is going well and things look good–only issue right now is she is extremely fatigued. She sleeps fro 12 or more hours and then gets easily fatigued after doing a short activity. Dr says it is normal from blood loss during surgery. Just wondering how long it took you to get your stamina back. Prior to this she was energetic and ran 3x a week.

  407. Corey July 4, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    Hey Guys,

    Just an update! I’m finally starting to get energy back (mid week 5)… although after I get tightened up by my wires, it’s still really hurts for the following 24 – 48 hours.

    I had three questions I was wondering if anyone could answer–more light hearted stuff than earlier. I have to say that after week 3 for me I’ve seen drastic improvement but still a lot of emotional lows & highs Graham mentioned:

    1) I should be getting my splint off on Wednesday–how will it be different after? Is there that much of a change between that and my elastics? I asked my doctor but he was sort of unclear.

    2) How long does it take to get back from soft foods to harder foods? My birthday is 3 days after I unwire and I’d love to have some pasta for dinner then. Is that too soon?

    3) I’m going to see Book of Mormon while wired–which I realize might be dangerous seeing as I can’t laugh too much. I’m thinking of putting wax on (because I will be laughing), but what did people who watch comedies where they laugh a lot do to stop the pain (besides avoiding it–parents bought the tickets before unwiring date was known).

    Thanks as always guys. I have to say I’m having some emotional lows–missing my friends who have started work after graduation. But physically, a lot improved.

    Happy 4th of July as well (for people from the US)

  408. Graham July 4, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    Maureen, I didn’t rediscover my energy until around the 6-week mark. I was able to remain alert throughout the day after 3 weeks, but I wasn’t able to participate in anything overly active for the full 6 weeks. Each day will be a little bit better for her at this point, though. =)

  409. Graham July 4, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    Hi Corey!

    1) The biggest change you’ll notice will be your level of comfort. You’ll be able to maintain better oral hygiene as well as begin eating soft food with more ease. Having your splint removed is a blessing, trust me!

    2) You should be able to eat pasta in 3 weeks as long as you remember to chew slowly. Take your time eating so you don’t do things like grind your teeth together or bite your tongue.

    3) Laughing will probably be a little bit painful because your elastics might snap, but you shouldn’t have to worry about undoing any part of the surgery. Do your best to keep your teeth together when you laugh (to avoid opening your mouth too wide), but other than that, have a great time!

    You’re in a good place, Corey. Life will grow a lot easier once your splint is out. Take care!

  410. Reese July 9, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    Hello I previously also had upper and lower jaw surgery aswell as 3 wisdom teeth taken out Wednesday July 3rd. My orthodontist said that I had a twisted jaw, basicly meaning I can only bite down on one side. It hasent given me any problems, but they felt it could down the road, such as joint problems.

    I really wish i stumbled across this website before I had the surgery, because atleast I would of known what to exspect which is very helpful.

    Anyways after surgery, I had woken up with alot of pain. I was wired and had elastics, swollen and a little bruising. I was taken childerens liquid tylenol but it was not strong enough clearly so they also started giving me dilaudid, it helped but did not last long, only for a half an hour or so.. so pretty much was always in alot of pain. The hospital kept me over there for about 2 days until i got realised, and 2 days later had to go back because an infection. I’m on alot of medicaiton such as pain killers, and inflamatory and now anti biotics, but they switched my dilaudids to hydromorphone and I’am limited on how much I have. There are no refils so when its gone I only have childerens tylenol and its scary because I know it wont be strong enough for me. I have about a few more days until i run out. I told the doctor but he said I didnt need anymore of it but my pain speaks other wise.

    Also I will agree with a few posts I’ve read above about the sleeping part, i really hate sleeping because when I wake up my pain is so much worse, everything aches, i wake up and im deluded, times i dont even realise i am until a few hours later so im basicly just miserable and its been day 6 and no sign of relief yet other than my swelling has went down some.. but my pain is all still there. usually it will go away for a half an hour and it will be right back there. I take up to 8 meds 4 times a day, it takes me a while to get them all into me and it seems like after i finish taking them.. its time to take them again. Also my new anti biotic they gave me for infection its awful it makes me so nauseous and sick, so far i have tried not to throw up, but its so hard not to sometimes. Aswell as food I been drinking ensure and chicken broth, usually once or twice a day.. I know its not enough and my body needs it to help heal faster but my appetite is not strong, I’am not use to liquid foods, and i prepare all my own meals and wake my self up for my meds its really hard on me.

    I’m not quite sure what to really do other than keep waiting for relief, most of my aches are above my upper lip (the mustache area) it throbs all the time.

    I have an appointment on the 16th I dont know if its for to get my elastics off or not, i really hope so.. its alot of discomfort and hard to keep clean, and my tongue is getting irriated and my whole mouth feels dry. I drink plenty of water every day, I feel as if I didnt have water .. I would die, such as yesterday when i had a really bad tooth ache, i could barely even take my meds .. so i wasent drinking alot of water and i felt really sick and dehydrated.. I regret getting it done right now but im sure i will be thankful in the long run.. its just so hard to see it right now, please if you have any suggestions or information or ideas on what I should do.. that could be really useful too..

  411. Michelle July 9, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    Hi Reese – I feel your pain, I was there 8 wks ago. First I would say you need some serious liquid pain meds. I used hydrocodine in liquid form with applesauce w/a syringe and got it all down faster – lasted 6 hrs. Ate puree soup, warm dahl, warm oatmeal w/milk. I could not handle cold food. This served 2 purposes, hydration and nutrition at the same time. Also a warm rag against my face where I felt discomfort from the muscles contracting seriously helped me. Slept on couch in sitting position was the only way i could sleep, so recommend it. I would say you are about half way through the really miserably stage. Give yourself one more week to feel so much better. Any chance you could have a family member help take care of you would be great so you could spend your time resting and recovering instead of preparing food for yourself, it worked great for me in that process. Definitely get a damp rag and warm it in the microwave and apply to area of pain, what a relieve. Hang in there, you did the right thing by having it done now instead of later in life.

  412. Alexia Fontaine July 17, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Bologna! This surgery cost $25,000 in the U.S.!

  413. Zacharie July 24, 2013 at 1:48 am #

    Hi! I’m going to go get my underbite fixed next year (I also need to get cavities fixed and braces, ahh). Your site has calmed me down a bit about it so I’m not as worried. Just want to thank you u w u

  414. Graham July 24, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    Zacharie, I’m glad you found this blog well before your surgery. You’ll have a solid idea of what to expect when you take on this operation next year. Take care!

  415. Corey July 26, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    Hey Graham and everyone!

    Thanks so much for this blog being helpful. I’ve recommended it to anyone looking into the surgery. I got my heavy elastics removed on Wednesday and now I just have to wear light elastics at night. My mouth only opens enough to fit one finger in. I was wondering Graham if you had any tips to loosen one’s jaw muscles or how long it takes for it to be open a reasonable amount to eat some of the less soft foods!

    Thanks so so much. Feels great to be (almost) done–but done with the hard part!

  416. Graham July 29, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    Corey, it took me approximately 7 weeks before I could comfortably eat soft foods again. As for loosening up the muscles in your jaw, I recommend whistling (to break up scar tissue) and chewing gum. Note that you may not be able to chew gum for a few more weeks, though!

  417. Angie August 4, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    Love your blog, I am also in YEG and wanted to know who your surgeon was? Thanks!

  418. Ari August 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    It’s day 4 of recovering from double jaw surgery and things are going well. I visited my surgeon today to get cleaned. He told me it usually takes him 15 minutes to clean a patient’s mouth out but it only took him 2 minutes to clean mine. So he was content that I’m cleaning my mouth right :)!! I was relieved to hear that as well. My questions would be if you had a constant slight unpleasant odor in your breath? I find that mine doesn’t go away no matter how well I clean my mouth, which confuses me. Also, would it be strange if I wasn’t hungry? I read a couple of comments from people who have undergone jaw surgery and the majority have said their liquid diet had them starving and unsatisfying. I, on the other hand, am experiencing the opposite. I had two meals today so far (chocolate shake and oatmeal) and a bottle of water and I’m not yearning for food. Is this a bad thing?
    Thank you for this post!!

  419. Graham August 8, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    Angie, my surgeon was Dr. Saranjeev Lahl. He’s a super friendly man and an experienced surgeon. I highly recommend him!

  420. Graham August 8, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    Ari, congratulations on feeling great during your first week! I also had terrible breath for the first few weeks and found the only way to combat it was to gurgle with warm salt water each morning and evening. As for your appetite, you should try to eat regardless of whether you’re hungry or not for at least the first month because your body needs to calories to repair the bone in your jaw. Stay healthy and enjoy your easy recovery! =)

  421. Terrence Blanton August 21, 2013 at 12:17 am #


    Found your blog from a buddy a few weeks back, I have read almost everything and you’ve been a huge help at bringing some peace of mind. I’m going under the knife on Sept 11, 2013 coming up for upper jaw surgery to fix my overbite and open mouth breathing. At first my surgeon wanted to do double jaw, but my recent appointment with him has apparently shown him that the braces have made my alignment better than it was before so double may be out of the question thank god. However my biggest fears post op are breathing. I have really bad asthma and use an inhaler daily, sometimes hourly. My surgeon said I’ll be fine to open my mouth and use it, but I’m still pretty nervous about having a panic attack right out of surgery. I had nose surgery done a couple years back as well (deviated septum) to help my nose breathing, but I’m still pretty plugged up from allergies and September – October will be pretty bad for that while I am recovering from surgery. I am a Photographer, Concert Lighting Director, and a Golfer, hopefully it doesn’t take too long after surgery to get back to those things since my birthday is in October!

    Anyways, Thanks for Listening. Take Care.

  422. Graham August 21, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    Hi Terrence,

    While breathing is quite frustrating for the first few weeks following surgery, you certainly don’t need to worry about not getting enough air. You won’t be able to breathe through your nose at first, so you’ll have to rely on opening your mouth and breathing that way. The most important thing to remember is to avoid panicking.

    I can promise you two things:

    1) You’ll get through the recovery just the same as the rest of us did.

    2) Breathing will become much easier after than first week.

    Good luck with the surgery in a few weeks and let me know how it goes! =)

  423. Stephen August 21, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    I just had my surgical consult today and I’m scheduled to have lower jaw surgery hopefully on 17 Sep, with a chin reduction. Thanks to your blog I have had all my questions answered before I went into the surgeon and then some. Thank you for your blog and helping ease some of the apprehension with my upcoming surgery. What was your worst day and why? Was it mental or physical? Thanks for fielding my question.

  424. Graham August 22, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    Stephen, I’m glad I was able to help you out with my ramblings. The worst day for me was honestly my first full day at home (day 4, I believe), because, despite being with my parents, I was unable to talk with them. Each day following that was better, though, and that’s one of the best parts of recovery—you see forward progress with each passing day. =)

  425. Stephen August 22, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    Graham, Im guessing my day two will be my worst as I will only be in the hospital only one night. Thanks for the response. Good luck to you and God bless you and your family.

  426. George August 28, 2013 at 6:25 am #

    I’m having a this surgery on the 20th September through the NHS and i don’t think I could be more worried about this :S Never been in hospital for anything apart for orthodontics. I’ve had different forms of braces for almost 8 years now, i’m almost 19 now so I just want to get this done. Especially as I have had to defer my university place for this :S

  427. Graham August 28, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    George, this surgery will be well worth it, and once it’s over, you should never have to think about it again. Try to maintain a positive attitude and know that you’ll be in good hands both during and after the operation. We’re here for you, man! =)

  428. Ari August 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    It’s week 4 of my recovery and my face is still noticeably swollen. I looked at videos and pictures of people who had the same procedure done and their face looked significantly normal by the 4 week mark. This concerns me. How long did it take for your face to go back to normal? and when did your surgeon remove your stitches? and is everyone suppose to get a splint following surgery? what is the purpose of this splint?

  429. Graham August 30, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    Ari, your swelling will likely last for 2–3 months, so you’re in a perfectly normal place. Your stitches should go away on their own (by design) as I believe your saliva eventually eats away at them. You can learn about the purpose of the splint by reading my post on the matter. =)

  430. Sally Hinski August 30, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    My son had major jaw surgery August 12, 2013. Three breaks, gums cut and moved up, and nose passage opened up. I have to say, it was very hard as a Mom to see how hard everything is to go through. He had his jaws ‘rubber’ banded shut for two weeks, and now has single bands on each side of his teeth at least until middle of September. His teeth hurt when he brushes, which sounds normal from these posts, and also when he chews, so therefore he can not chew or suck through a straw. I make him great shakes, and ramen noodles mostly, coupled with ensure.
    My question is this:
    School starts 9/3, he is a junior, 16 yrs old, in high school. I think it will be very hard for him to go to school. He has fast metabolism, and gets nausea easily. How can he eat at school? He also will be going to a technical school on even days, which he thinks he can make himself go to – it’s 4 hours. I want to get him a tutor for ‘normal’ school for at least 1-2 months, his doctor thinks he should go to school on the first day. He can’t talk or eat normally yet, drools, and is still swollen. He is a shy kid as well. Do I make him go to school or fight and have a tutor? The technical school would be hard to make up the work, and smaller amount of kids attending, so why he knows he has to force himself there, but a less formal place to attend.

  431. Graham August 31, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

    Sally, if your son is still drooling and unable to speak, it may be wise to forego the first week of school. However, he’s going to have to attend before he’s completely recovered because that will take another few months. He can probably catch up after just one week, but I wouldn’t hold him back any longer than that. If you send him with pre-made smoothies and blended soups, he’ll be able to eat those. I understand the first few weeks back will be awkward, but once they’re over, he’ll never have to endure them again. =)

  432. Terrence Blanton September 15, 2013 at 1:46 pm #


    Update! I am now on Day 4 of Recovery of my surgery, I ended up not having to do the full double jaw surgery and I just had my chin moved forward and my upper jaw moved up 5mm as a “Le Fort 1 Osteotomy”.

    I was discharged the day after surgery and was starting to walk and go to the bathroom on my own. I was only home for six hours before I wasn’t able to keep my meds down and my drainage in my throat was pretty unbearable. I ended up back in the ER that night due to dehydration and immobility and a fever. After that I was back to good health and ever since I left the ER I have been getting much better. They cleaned out my sinus’s under my nose inside my upper jaw by cutting out a bunch of scar tissue that was built up from my prior deviated septum surgery. I honestly think that is worse than the jaw surgery. As of today I have been able to breathe through my nose barely and it’s the best feeling ever.

    Anyways you asked for an update and thought I would share. Thanks :)

    Check out my photography at: and

  433. Graham September 16, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Terrence, it sounds like you’re doing pretty well as far as jaw surgery patients go! It will be a good day when your nose clears up fully and you can breathe easy again! =)

  434. cece September 17, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    i am on day 35 of my recovery from a double jaw surgery/genoplasty and i can still feel pain and lots of spasm. i guess recovery is different for everyone. I have not gone back to work – not because i dont want to but driving and moving about still causes pain on my chin :(

    I still can’t eat solid foods. Still on ensure, special K, protein shakes and soups. I started eating rice porridge/congee. Ugh – Im starving and can’t wait to eat more.

    When will these spasms go away? And why do i still feel pain? I got infected a week after surgery but the infection is gone now.

  435. cece September 17, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    Quick question…was there a time when you had to just use elastics at night and off during the day? Did it hurt just as how I feel? It hurts more at night after not having elastics during the day.
    in general, the pain and discomfort is worse at night. Is that normal?

  436. Graham September 18, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    Hi Cece,

    The spasms will likely show up intermittently for another month or so, but they should become less and less frequent.

    Regarding the pain you’re feeling, it’s possible your nerves are waking up more quickly than mine did (this is a good thing!), so you’re noticing the pain a bit more than I did. This should begin to go away quite quickly within the next couple of weeks. If the pain is causing you issues, I’d call your surgeon and ask for a prescription for pain medication so you can resume normal life.

    As for elastics, I recall wearing them day and night until I had my braces removed at 9 months post-op. The pain you feel at night is likely due to your teeth moving around as they settle into their new position, so this is perfectly normal. =)

  437. Emmanuel October 1, 2013 at 3:00 am #

    Hello Graham! I am having my surgery this October 11 and I am really scared and nervous about it. I keep thinking about all the side effects of the surgery. I am really anxious and it’s taking over me. What can I do to calm myself and not think about these things?

  438. Emmanuel October 1, 2013 at 3:01 am #

    I am also from Edmonton and we the same orthodontist!

  439. Graham October 1, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    Emmanuel, try to understand that you’re actually quite lucky to be having this operation. Many people don’t have the money or medical facilities available to take care of this issue, but here in Canada, we have both. It’s actually a huge blessing to have the opportunity to correct your jaw once and for all. And since the recovery is a mere 3 months out of your life, you’ll get to experience the benefits for a lot longer than you had to endure the discomfort. =)

  440. Emmanuel October 1, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    thank you so much! I would try not to think about these negative things. thank you again and God bless you man!

  441. Elizabeth October 11, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    So I do have to get surgery for my underbite which isn’t bothering me at the moment but I am sure it will bother me in the future I am terrified how will I feel during the first hours after surgery etc? I have no pain tolerance what so ever and I barely survived wisdom teeth being removed I can’t imagine surgery any tips? ):

  442. Graham October 12, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    Elizabeth, the pain shouldn’t bother you too much because your face will be completely numb for the first few days post-op. You’ll be tired because your body will be working to heal itself, but luckily, you shouldn’t feel too much pain. =)

  443. Emmanuel October 19, 2013 at 1:42 am #

    HI its emmanuel again! im 1 week post-op and im just wondering why my right cheek is more swollen than the left side. is that normal?

  444. Graham October 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    Emmanuel, you can’t really make any judgements on swelling at 1 week post-op, so yes, it’s perfectly normal to look slightly disproportional at this point. I wouldn’t worry about anything swelling or appearance-wise until around the 8-week mark. Stay strong and have patience, my friend!

  445. Lisa November 7, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    Hi Graham:
    I really just wanted to say THANK YOU! I am scheduled to have upper jaw surgery in 11 days (Nov 18). I have been in braces for over a year. My surgery alone will cost just under $18,000, and my insurance company won’t pay a dime. I’m 46 years old and never had any problems with my teeth or my bite until just a little over three years ago when my jaw started to move. I broke 3 teeth in just over a month and now have an under bite and cross bite. I chew up the inside of my mouth, spit when I talk and bite my tongue on a regular. This has been an extremely difficult experience. I really appreciate everyone sharing their stories. I’ve had many questions answered here over the last several months as I’ve prepared for my surgery. Thank you so much! I will continue to visit and share my experiences for others over the next several months. Thanks again Graham and others!!

  446. Kate November 8, 2013 at 3:58 am #

    Hi Graham,

    I’ve found it really interesting reading about your operation and seeing the differences in the pictures from pre and post op!
    I’ve had braces for nearly 5 months now and am having the operation this July.
    I was wondering what the procedure for you was surrounding the removal of your wisdom teeth as I am getting this done soon; how long does the recovery take and how bad is the pain?
    As well as this, I was wondering whether you were aware of the duration of the main double jaw operation, purely out of curiosity?
    Kate :)

  447. Graham November 8, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    Lisa, it sounds like your insurance is playing a frustrating game. I wish you all the best on the 18th and look forward to hearing about your recovery! =)

  448. Graham November 8, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    Hi Kate!

    I had my wisdom teeth removed several months before having jaw surgery. I may be an anomaly in this regard, but I experienced no pain from that procedure and was perfectly fine as soon as the localized freezing subsided a few days later. I didn’t swell up either, but most people look like a chipmunk for about a week following.

    My jaw surgery took just over 5 hours, but the surgeon had to move my jaw a few times to get my bite the way he wanted. I think most of the operations take around 3 hours to complete.

    It sounds like you’ve got a bit of time to mentally prepare for the big day, so you’ll be in good shape for it. Stay happy!

  449. April November 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    Hi Graham, found your blog while trying to look for tips on food after having jaw surgery. I had my double jaw operation on Oct 24th and while my swelling has gone down some, I feel like my right side is more swelled than my left even though my surgery was almost 3 weeks ago. Do you think this is normal? I still put ice on my face at night even though the surgeon has said it is moot at this point but advised that I shouldn’t put heat on it, guess it’s like a placebo in my opinion. I’m still wired shut at this point as well, though I was told I should be unwired next Monday. Just can’t wait to eat other stuff that isn’t soup..

  450. brent November 12, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    @April, im currently 8 weeks post op and at 3 weeks I was still very swollen, especially on the left side.

  451. Graham November 13, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    April, having uneven swelling is perfectly normal, so you need not worry. Your swelling will stick around in noticeable fashion for another month or so and parts of your face may appear slightly lopsided until then. I assure you that once the swelling subsides, your facial features will even out once again. =)

  452. Corey November 13, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    Hi Graham (+ everyone)!

    It’s been a while since I’m checked in, but just wanted to again say how thankful I was for this site. Really helped during some difficult times with the positive energy and quick comments.

    Some minor updates I guess–

    Had an orthodontist visit the other day–one of the last ones hopefully. He says that I’ll get the retainer on and braces off in December! However, there was a little shifting since the surgery and we have to adjust the mid-line through a different arrangement of elastics. Did anyone have those issues? I always wonder if elastics actually work well.

    Additionally, I’m having a little numbness but it feels like it’s in my cheek (and in the muscle). Is this jaw surgery related? My Doctor seemed a little concerned, but since it’s only been about two days since my check up I haven’t been worried.

    Can’t wait for braces to come off! The other side is so much easier, to all of those who worry about the post-2 months post op–it’s very much life back to normal with some minor pains.

  453. Graham November 14, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Corey, thanks for the update!

    Having your teeth shift around is normal and elastics can generally handle the job. I wouldn’t worry about that.

    As for numbness, you shouldn’t be experiencing new numbness this late in the game as a result of the surgery. Did you get in a fist fight recently, by chance? 😛

    Congratulations on getting your braces off next month. That’s crazy exciting, woo!

  454. Corey November 16, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    Just another quick update to see what you think about it (I’m also getting in contact with my oral surgeon). Sometimes, and usually rarely, it seems as if I have an “underbite” for a split second. Then the jaw seems to reset to it’s new, correct position. Is that the term for slippage that a lot of people refer to? I’m super nervous about this–I just changed the way that I was wearing elastics and am thinking about going back to the original way and wearing them more. Is this just orthodontic related or is there a bigger issue here?

    Ugh. Definitely a last minute scare. Any advice would be wonderful.

  455. Graham November 18, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    Corey, I’m not sure what “slippage” refers to exactly, since I didn’t experience it. However, having your jaw “float” is normal for the first couple of months following surgery. If it’s been more than 8 weeks since your operation, I’d give your surgeon a call and ask why your jaw is still moving. If you’re still in the initial weeks, I’d just be cautious of any jarring motions with your jaw and see if it continues.

  456. Michelle November 19, 2013 at 1:46 am #

    Hey, I was wondering how long will the swelling last for? and when how long will it take for swelling to be not very noticable.
    What you meant by “Whatever feeling and movement you experience after 6 months post-op is probably what you’ll live with for the rest of your life.” is that supposed to be a good thing or a bad thing? please explain.
    I heard from another person that after the surgery the skin around your jaw will be kind of loose, when will it tighten back to normal?

  457. Ray November 19, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Hey Graham,

    I’m super glad I found this website. It’s really informative and its great to find a place of support. I did have a question, though. I’m going to be getting surgery on Dec. 7th and I was wondering how long it takes to get back to talking “normally?” (this also includes random things like singing, haha). I’m in graduate school and have a big presentation coming up on the first week of February. I’ll be addressing a group of people in a large room, so I’m a little worried that my jaw might still be tight and I won’t be able to open my mouth to the degree that is necessary for good projection. I’ve read some of your blogs posts, where you mentioned yawning (i.e.: opening your mouth wide) was difficult. What was the time frame for normal speech returning? Thanks.

  458. Graham November 20, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    Michelle, swelling should drop by about half within the first 6 weeks, but maybe take an extra couple of months to go away completely.

    With regards to the 6-month rule, not much should change (aside from open bites closing up) after the 6-month mark. That’s more or less when your body finishes healing from this operation.

    As for the skin around your jaw becoming loose, I did not experience this, nor have I ever heard of it. Sounds like a scare tactic to me. =)

  459. Graham November 20, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    Ray, if your presentation is a full 7 weeks after your surgery, you should be in a good state to speak clearly. I wouldn’t rely on being able to sing with ease, but normal talking should be okay at that point. I would encourage you to start whistling and chewing gum at around 5 weeks to start loosening up the muscles in your jaw a bit. You’ll do fine, though! =)

  460. Georgia November 21, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Hey Graham,
    I am a teenager with 4 months to decide whether I want to have this surgery or not and your blog is really helping me!

    What advice would you give to me to help me consider? I am worried about my appearance after the surgery, whether I will like the look. I am also worried about the risk of numbness.

    Thank you!

  461. Graham November 22, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    Georgia, I understand it’s a bit unnerving to make this choice without knowing what you’ll look like after, but if you think there will be functional benefits, I wouldn’t worry about your future appearance. Once the swelling goes away, you’ll grow to accept the slight changes to the shape of your face fairly quickly.

    My advice is: if having a fixed bite will be beneficial for you, I’d undergo the surgery for that reason alone. =)

  462. ec November 24, 2013 at 2:49 am #

    hi Graham! I was just wondering of when did your face started to even out? im 6 weeks post-op and my jawline is little bit bigger than my left and my surgeon said it was just the bone that was cut and moved healing but it just bothers me a little bit aha

  463. Sunny November 24, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    Hi Graham, I have a good read of all your posts and I have to thank you for this blog In its entirety.

    I am 21 m from Birmingham UK, I have had braces etc and have my referral for jaw surgery this December. This is to check that my jaw hasn’t grown as I developed class 3 underbite post braces :(. My next appointment is for me to persist on surgery under the NHS I guess; meaning It would be paid for under the national health here in the UK as my records for orthodontic treatment starts from when I was around 14.

    I have seen a cosmetic dentist who is advising me on veneers to give me the an appearance of a good normal bite, he is very good and has many celebrities see him for treatment. What would you say to this? For me I’m kind of fed up of my upper teeth not going over the bottom teeth as they should.. Would you advise away from cosmetic work? Everyone I know when I mention surgery keep putting me off saying how dangerous it Is which might be why I could of got the ball rolling sooner rather than later!!

    Have you got an email I could send a pic of my underbite profile etc to you at for further advice/opinion?

    Anyways your noob/documentation Is seriously inspirational, I look forward to hearing from you soon. Regards

    Sunny .

  464. Graham November 25, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    Ec, you’re still going to be quite swollen at the 6-week mark, so I wouldn’t worry about anything just yet. If you’re still feeling a bit lopsided in another month, an x-ray would be a smart choice at that point. Surgeons generally won’t perform any follow-up procedures until the original bone has healed regardless. So my advice is to stay positive and give your body another month to figure itself out. =)

  465. Graham November 25, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    Hi Sunny! (I once had another friend named Sunny and her personality totally matched her name. I can only imagine you’re the same!)

    That’s a tough choice to make. The biggest risk with jaw surgery is permanent numbness. Most everything else will heal up in due time (3–6 months).

    If this is purely cosmetic, veneers may be a good choice to simply give the illusion that your bite is correct. If you’re having functional difficulties related to chewing, breathing, or speaking as well, surgery is probably the better option.

    Feel free to send me a photo at if you have more questions. Cheers!

  466. Chung Chan December 4, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

    hi Graham, i had the same surgery as you approximately 6 mths ago. Now, there is still swelling on 2 side of my face, it’s pretty bad, How can I get rid of that?

  467. Graham December 5, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    Chung, I’m not sure what would be causing swelling at 6-months post-op. If you haven’t jarred your face (or got in any fights) lately, you may want to schedule a quick checkup with your surgeon to see if anything is out of place.

  468. Kyle Park December 11, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    Hi Graham. This is really amazing website.

    I’ve grown up with a longer lower jaw that has caused me minor pain. I had orthodontic work with braces, but that only caused my jaw to click every time I tried to chew, yawn, or whatever. I got the braces removed a few years ago, and now I have a horrible mid line from not using the retainer. The constantly “clicking” was intolerable. I did not have had serious jaw pains up until this past year.

    My jaw sometimes will slightly dislocate, and I have to put it back into place with a slight shove. Sometimes my jaw will dislocate, and it very painful to even open my mouth to breathe.

    The orthodontist says I should go back into braces first, but personally, I do not really want to repeat those long years of having braces at age 24. I want the surgery for the pain, and little bit cosmetically (selfishly).

    I’m wondering what you think is the best idea? I fear the numbness problem or other problems down the road if I was going to go through this…

    Sorry for the long read. Basically:
    1. I have a long jaw and it has been causing me a lot of pain recently
    2. I have had dental work that has only bandaged the problem
    3. Surgery is an option, but the numbness is life altering (mentally)?

    Thank you

  469. Jeanne December 11, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    Hi Graham…I underwent lower jaw surgery to help my TMJ issues, after postponing it for about a year because I am such a chicken. Friends and family advised against the surgery, so I researched it to death (including reading your site) and decided to proceed with it Oct 2nd. I am now 10 wks post op, and have to say I am extremely pleased with the whole experience.
    The tips shared here, and from fellow patients I met by chance, prepared me for the nonsense of not being orally functional for an extended period of time…sounding like Daffy Duck; eating food fit for babies or geriatrics; looking like a survivor of domestic assault; and being drugged to the point of dizziness & memory loss.
    Despite my surgeon having the personality of a shoe, I trusted him 100% after talking to other dental & medical professionals, who spoke so highly of his abilities.
    The numbness in my chin & lip is just about gone (not sure why I’m so lucky) and I get my final stage of braces soon, which, after their removal will be cause for an extended celebration.
    The number one thing that got me through the whole procedure, other than having excellent medical attention, was keeping a positive attitude. I know that sounds trite, and if you knew me you would know it is truly out of character for me, but I took it one day at a time & made sure I didn’t get down about all the challenges I faced.
    Thank you for the forum you have provided for us chickens.

  470. Graham December 13, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    Hey Kyle,

    If the fear of numbness is the only thing holding you back, I’d go ahead with the surgery. I have permanent numbness in my lower lip and chin and can honestly say that it does not in any way affect my life. I completely forget about it until someone asks about it.

    You’ll likely need to go back into braces before having the operation because the surgeon will want to create small gaps in a few places so he can cut into the bone properly. I know it’s frustrating, but I was also 24 years old when I took on this battle, so I can assure you it’s possible. I’m 27 now and am incredibly happy I went through with it all. Once it’s in the past, you’ll be glad you did it.

    Best of luck in your decision, my friend. Feel free to email me if you feel the need. =)

  471. Graham December 13, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    Jeanne, thank you so much for your kind words! I’m glad that, after initial hesitation, you found the surgery worthwhile. Your comment made me chuckle as well, what with the “Daffy Duck days,” haha. Stay positive, enjoy your new smile, and have a very merry Christmas!

  472. George December 16, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    Hi, I posted at the end of August with the plan that my surgery was going to be on September 20th. However it got pushed back to the November 13th, so I am now just over a month after my surgery. I’m feeling almost completely normal. I still have slightly swollen cheeks and a slightly numb patch on my bottom left lip and chin but hopefully that will fade if not I’m not too bothered.

    Unfortunately, i had to have a second surgery 2 days after my first as the swelling had pushed 1 side of my bottom jaw so that it couldn’t close my mouth making literally everything including eating, breathing and sleeping really hard to do.

    Does anyone have any ideas for food to eat for dinner? At first i was living of smoothies and soup but I’m managing pasta as long as I can swallow it without biting now :) My surgeon said I will be able to have most of the Christmas dinner which I’m very happy about! 😀

    Thanks so much for this website its helped me a lot through the whole process!

  473. Graham December 17, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    George, it’s always good to meet someone who is staying positive despite having to take on a second operation. Regarding meals, it sounds like you should be good to eat mashed potatoes, most types of pasta (as long as there are no hard vegetables in the sauce), casseroles, etc. Give Asian food a try as well—rice and noodles should serve you well. Enjoy! =)

  474. laura December 23, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    Hi, I would love it if someone could speak to me about this and maybe give some advice as I am absolutly terrified and its all I think about all day everyday! I am undergoing double jaw surgery next month and although I know I have to go through with it in order to correct my bite issues and insecurities I am really worried about how it will change my looks as looks wise I am quite happy about apart from my bite?I want that to be sorted but I am scared of it changing my nose as this to me is one of my best features and I wouldn’t like my look to change that much! But I do want my bite sorted out as it causes me a lot of problems as you all are probobly already aware of! Do you think it is worth it and how can I keep myself calmer before surgery?! thanks x

  475. man December 24, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    Hey awesome website. I was wondering how long until I can play contact sports and risk getting hit in the face? I had a genioplasty by the way.

  476. Graham December 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    Laura, your appearance will not change in a big way. The only difference should be the general shape of your cheeks and jawline. I haven’t yet met anyone who looked like a completely different person following surgery, so you need not worry about that. If your bite is proving to be a nuisance, I would have it fixed so you can enjoy the results for the rest of your life. Once you’re all healed up and have accepted the small changes, you’ll realize you’re still beautiful and will be even more confident due to your new bite and smile. =)

  477. Graham December 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    Hey man, I would avoid contact sports for the full 3 months following surgery. At that point, your bone should be fused back together and you should be good to go!

  478. Kelsey January 1, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

    Did you lose more weight after those 2 weeks or was it only 30 pounds you lost? I’m getting the surgery in 6 months and want to be prepared.

  479. Graham January 4, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    Kelsey, I lost all my weight during the first 2 weeks. After that, I was eating enough soup and drinking enough smoothies to maintain my weight. I didn’t start gaining again until I could eat solid food at the 7-week mark.

  480. Cindi January 6, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    My son is scheduled to have double jaw surgery this summer. I read your time line and info. I have two questions for you.
    1/Is there anything he can do to in advance of the surgery to help him afterward? I guess get books and movies for when he’s feel better. Any other suggestions?

    2/He was planning on taking a college summer course. The class would start about 4 weeks post surgery. Is that realistic? I know everyone heals differently but what are your thoughts?

    Thank you for your time.

  481. Graham January 8, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    Hi Cindi!

    1) The only thing he can do to prepare will be to ensure (ha, “punny!”) meal supplement, soup, and smoothie ingredients are well-stocked and to have a few books, movies, and television series ready to go for the first week or so. Following that, it’s a game of patience.

    2) As long as the summer course doesn’t require much speaking (so business classes may be out of the question, for example) and he’s okay with being really swollen around people, he should be alright. He’ll be able to focus and study with no issues by the 4-week mark.

    Your son will do great, especially considering you’re already looking out for him. Take care!

  482. Elise January 9, 2014 at 4:07 am #

    Hi Graham
    First off I just want to say that I love your blog, its been really helpful and fun to read! And your final results are absolutely amazing!
    Anyway, I had upper jaw surgery 4 weeks ago now to correct my underbite. I also had my upper jaw widened. I had my splint removed two days ago and have just noticed that none of my teeth touch, I almost feel that I have an overbite now. I feel like maybe they widened my upper jaw too much, if that is even possible. You mentioned in several posts about an open bite, and I was wondering if that might be what I have. My upper teeth are completely over all of my molars and do not touch them in the slightest, I can feel the complete top of my back morals with my tongue when my mouth is completely closed. I was wondering if that is similar to what you experienced with your open bite?
    I’m meeting with my ortho tomorrow to get the tpa put in (which i’m not looking forward to especially after reading how tramatic your experience was haha) but hopefully they will reassure me that me teeth placement is normal
    Thank you so much for answering my question, as well as everyone else’s even though your surgery has been awhile ago now, this is an awesome resource you have created for jaw surgery patients!

  483. Graham January 9, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    Elise, an “open bite” is when some of your teeth don’t come together due to others preventing them. For example, if one of your molars was sitting lower than the rest and it touched, thereby preventing the rest of your molars, which sit higher, from coming together, that would be an open bite. It’s usually not an issue because the remaining teeth will eventually just grow together.

    However, your case does not sound like an open bite. It sounds like your teeth are a little off on the horizontal plane (ie. one jaw is too far ahead of or behind the other one). While I felt like I had an overbite initially as well, that was only due to the fact that I wasn’t used to my upper jaw behind ahead of my lower jaw.

    I would honestly ask your surgeon when you see them. Hopefully it’s intentional and is meant to grow back into place in the coming months.

    Until then, be blessed, and let me know what you find out. All the best!

  484. Chelsey January 11, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

    So far I’ve only made it to your day 29 but I’ve enjoyed every day! It’s nice to know what is ‘normal’ vs. what is ‘normal’ but sucks!
    Im 25 and had double jaw surgery 3 weeks ago for an over, open, cross bite! All went well, the numbness was my only problem, with slight pain in my right jaw! Aquaphor lotion (used on lips) has been my best friend, as well as a water pik! I ate ice cream, beans, green bean casserole, etc – i basically swallowed small bites whole! I thought I had it bad then…After 2 weeks I found out my left jaw required a second surgery because it kept reverting to the original position!
    I woke up with right side pain and my jaw wired shut! Apparently my right condyle had not broken correctly in the first surgery! Now I’m week 1 and a half of a 6 week wired shut timeline!
    After nearly punching myself twice using the syringes and breaking them, my mother found a new device for liquid eating…a turkey baster! I have also found good solid to liquid foods:
    Little Debbie Dunkin Donuts, Honey Buns, Oatmeal Cookies, and Apple pies (each seperately) mixed with milk and vanilla ice cream taste amazing!
    Manwich + burger (blend with another can of manwich or beef broth – microwave)
    Au gratin potatoes + milk + velveeta cheese (blend then microwave)
    Pizza ryes (sausage, velveeta, ketchup, oregano on rye bread) + beef broth then blend!
    Other things I noticed: any red sauce pasta is an awful taste blended (spaghetti and lasagna) and baby food is horrendous!
    Sorry I doubt I’ll be as awesome as you in helping everyone so I thought I’d at least get my findings out there!

  485. Stefano January 13, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    Hi Graham!!
    Thank you for have created this blog, it’s really useful and well made 😉

    I have an underbite and I will have to start my “journey” to have it fixed very soon….

    I would like to ask you some questions….

    1) For how long should I have the braces on before the surgery? I know that is different for everyone, but roughly speaking….it’s for more or less than a year? I’m 22 and I have already had my braces on when I was a child and at this age I wouldn’t want to have the braces for too much :(

    2) I will undergo through this surgery mostly to fix my lisp!
    I have read that you also had a lisp!
    Did the surgery correct yours?

    3) I’m very concerned about breathing after the surgery because even if I have had a septoplasty to straighten my nasal septum I still breathe (for the most part) through my mouth and since I have read that my mouth will be wired shut after the surgery I don’t know if I will be able to breathe….did you have the same problems?

    Thank you very much and I will keep reading and updating my experience 😉

    P.S: sorry if I have made some mistakes but english is not my native language…hope it’s clear…

  486. Graham January 20, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

    Chelsey, it sounds like you’ve had a rough ride, yikes! I commend you on staying strong through both of your operations. I suppose that, on the bright side, you can to eat delicious blended treats with no shame for even longer than most of us, right? =)

  487. Graham January 20, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

    Hi Stefano!

    1) Most people have braces for a full 2 years before surgery, but if you’ve had them on before, you may only need them back on for one year to create the gaps necessary for the operation.

    2) The surgery corrected my lisp, yes!

    3) I actually breathed through my mouth for the first month following surgery because my nose was plugged up. Despite being “wired shut,” you’ll still be able to open your mouth enough to breathe, no worries.

    Best of luck with your decision. =)

  488. Georgia January 24, 2014 at 2:57 am #

    Hi! I recently found out that I have to get double jaw surgery to correct my severe underbite, bringing my top jaw forward and my bottom jaw back.

    I don’t have any problems with breathing but my surgeon found a clicking in my jaw that I thought was normal, apparently its cause was a slight fracture years ago hmm. I also have problems biting food cleanly and find myself tearing food like some sort of predator. Also self esteem issues are included.

    Since I’m only 15, I’ve been advised that my surgery will take place around Summer 2015. I’m due for bone scans soon and other appointments to help me decide whether to have the surgery or not, since it’s being covered fully by the NHS, it won’t cost a penny!

    I’ve decided indefinitely that I’m going to have the surgery after spending hours on this site, following your recovery. Thank you.

  489. Graham January 24, 2014 at 8:08 am #

    Georgia, I’m glad my experience led you to a decision. And lucky you for being a UK resident and having a free ride all the way to recovery, sheesh! =)

  490. Justin January 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

    Hey Graham,

    Thanks for documenting your entire journey. I just got home last night from my own level 3 surgery. It’s been somewhat difficult but I’m learning to suck it up, especially thanks to your tips. Hoping to be able to swallow normally soon so I can sleep well enough, don’t want to keep everyone else up because of my nightly slurping/spitting.

  491. Graham January 24, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    Justin, welcome to the recovery period. These first two weeks will be the most frustrating due to eating, breathing, and sleeping annoyances, but life will get much better following that. Hang in there and make sure to get outside for fresh air and walks every single day. =)

  492. Marie February 10, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

    I am having double jaw surgery tomorrow and am very nervous. You said 30% never regain full feeling on their face and that scares me quite a bit. Could you elaborate and tell the severity of the loss of feeling?

  493. Fiona Far February 11, 2014 at 12:00 am #

    Did you vomit after surgery?

  494. Graham February 11, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    Marie, the 30% number is the stat my surgeon shared with me, but I’m not sure if there’s science behind it or if that’s just his personal experience. I never regained full feeling in my lower lip, but I honestly don’t even notice the numb patches any longer. The human body adjusts surprisingly quickly to loss of feeling, so you need not worry about it. Everything from kissing to eating to smiling to whistling remain unaffected. =)

  495. Graham February 11, 2014 at 8:01 am #

    Fiona, I did not, but I’ve met several people who did vomit following the surgery. I’ve been told it’s more of a frustrating issue than a painful one. If it happens to you, a nurse will be there to help you out, so you don’t need to worry about it happening with nobody around. People are generally finished with this stage after the first day.

  496. Sarah February 22, 2014 at 4:49 am #

    Thanks for taking the time to create this blog, you did an awesome job. Can I ask who preformed your surgery and how long did you have to wait for appointments and a surgery date? I’m also in NS

  497. Graham February 22, 2014 at 9:44 am #

    Sarah, my surgeon was Dr. Sanajeev Lahl in Edmonton. You can see his website here. The only reason I had to wait for a surgery date was because we were giving my braces time to move my teeth around. The waiting period for an operating room will vary from place to place, so I can’t even hazard a guess at what an expected wait time would be. =)

  498. Micky March 13, 2014 at 12:37 am #

    Hey graham thankyou for this blog man..
    Ive questions for you.
    I am going to have my lower jaw surgery may be this june.
    As i saw in the internet the lower jaw is cut and brought back fixed with metal.
    My question is does the two bones fuse together after the surgery?
    If any heavy kind of impact(punch) on the jaw damage the metal joint?
    Will those metal joints remain with me for lifetime?

  499. Graham March 13, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    Micky, the titanium plates will stay in place forever unless they cause an infection, which is quite rare. As for impact to your face, your bones will fuse back together within 3–4 months and will be just as strong and stable as they were before. If you’re worried about boxing or martial arts, you should be good to go once you’re fully healed, though I may give it a full 5–6 months just to be sure.

  500. Kim March 17, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

    HI! Well I’m 17 and I’m supposed to have jaw surgery in June. I’m also supposed to start college in August.. In about that time between June and August will I be done with the swelling? Will I look decent enough to make first impressions? Someone also mentioned drooling after surgery. I won’t be drooling will I?

  501. Graham March 18, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    Kim, as long as you have a full two months between surgery and college, you should be in good shape. You may still be a bit swollen, but your speech will be back to normal and you should be able to eat most things at that point. In you’re in school, summer is the best time to undergo the surgery, so I encourage you to go ahead with it and cross it off your list. =)

  502. Teryn March 21, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

    I’m having surgery this December and I’m worried mostly about recognizing myself. You website has been great for putting all of my other fears to rest. I’m 23 and will be getting married four months after surgery, will I be used to my new jaw by then, and will I have gained my weight back so my wedding dress fits right? I will have had braces for a year when I have the surgery if that matters at all.

  503. Graham March 22, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    Teryn, you should be back to normal after four months, so you need not worry. The aesthetic differences in your face will be fairly minute, you should be able to gain your weight back by then, and your swelling should be entirely non-existent at that point. Good luck with the surgery, and more importantly, enjoy your wedding!

  504. safaa March 24, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

    i had a double jaw surgery, and i was quite a ride, the pain was not bad but i vomited twice, but the vomitus went out through my teeth although i was totally wired
    My main issue now is that i feel that my soft palate is sagging and that is not a cool feeling, my throat feels stuffed up all the time i am not sure if you had the same problem

  505. Jeron S. March 25, 2014 at 4:30 am #

    I recently had my wires removed from jaw surgery and replaced with elastic rubber bands…but I noticed that I have still have a wire connected to back of my mouth…why is that and whats that for?

  506. Graham March 25, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    Safaa, if you had surgery on your upper jaw, the surgeon likely cut through your upper palette to make it either narrower or wider. Usually, they’ll wire in a plastic splint to maintain the form of your palette until the bone heals back together. If it feels like the roof of your mouth is “sagging,” you may want to give your surgeon a quick call to confirm that it’s an expected reaction. Let me know what you end up doing. =)

  507. Graham March 25, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    Jeron, the only wire that was left in my mouth was a permanent one on the back of my bottom teeth to keep them aligned (called a permanent retainer). I’ve not heard of anyone else having permanent wires left in their mouth, so your best bet is to call your surgeon or orthodontist and ask them what its purpose is and if/when it will be removed.

  508. Cherie April 5, 2014 at 3:11 am #

    Hi Graham, I am now 15 days post op after a double jaw surgery. I (like many of you) have had trouble sleeping due to the pins and needles feeling in my face, mainly lips and chin. I am wondering if anyone has found a way to relieve this feeling? I have pain medicine but I don’t really have much “pain” anymore, just the pins and needles and it doesn’t seem to help much with that. Since I’m up, I’ve been doing my googling, trying to find something that may help. I’m glad I found your page. I have read a lot of the comments but I think it would take me quite a while to get to all of them. Also, when I take my bands off to brush I noticed that when I open my mouth, my jaw goes back to it’s pre-surgery position and it kind of “slides” into place when I close. Has anyone else experienced this? I’m worried that the surgery didn’t completely “fix” me. Of course, I will bring this up to my surgeon at my next weekly appointment … I just noticed it yesterday. Any advice is appreciated!

  509. Graham April 5, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    Cherie, one thing I found that helped me sleep through the night was taking a hot pack, putting it in the microwave for 20–30 seconds, and then placing it on my face when I lay down. The heat soothed my nerves enough to let me get a restful sleep. Regarding your jaw “sliding” into place, it’s normal for your jaw to “float” until the bone fuses back together, so if you’re not experiencing any pain, there’s likely nothing to be worried about. If you notice it is still moving around in another 2–3 weeks, you may want to ask your surgeon to take an x-ray and ensure the bone is healing properly at that point. =)

  510. Haroon April 15, 2014 at 7:41 am #

    Can you tell me that after how many day will I be able to join my university or Job? means that I will be able to talk and do stuff

  511. Graham April 15, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    Haroon, you should be able to do everything except communicate clearly by the 3-week mark. If you need to speak clearly (to teach, for example), 6 weeks is likely a safer estimate. Hope you’re able to make this work! =)

  512. Jaime April 22, 2014 at 7:34 am #

    My orthodontist says that I’m now ready for surgery (after 800+ days of having braces). I have an appointment with my oral surgeon on May 1st to talk about my surgery plans. An all liquid diet just does not appeal to me at all and I’m starting to feel very nervous about the healing process and about looking different. I guess the majority of the worry comes from the fact that I’ve never had surgery before. I’m glad to know I’m not alone in this type of procedure. Everyone that I talk to about it has never even heard about it. They mainly think I’m doing it for cosmetic reasons, but I just want to chew, sleep, and breathe better. Thanks for sharing your experience Graham!

  513. Shasha April 25, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    Hi Graham,
    I was wondering if the surgery will stop me from trying out for Varsity Cheerleading next year,i’m 17 and i talked to my coach she told me that i would be able to tryout because my surgery is in June and Cheerleading tryouts are in the Beginning of August.
    I’m really nervous, I have to get Lower Jaw surgery cuz of my Underbite and i have periodontal gum disease.

  514. Graham May 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

    Jaime, while there are thousands of people on this blog who have taken on this surgery, it is still a relatively unknown operation. That being said, my father had jaw surgery over 40 years ago, so it has quite a history. Try to find comfort in all of us who have emerged on the other side and are happy with our newfound ability to chew properly, breathe a little easier, and smile a little brighter. =)

  515. Graham May 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

    Shasha, if you have a full 2 months between your surgery and cheerleading tryouts, you should be okay. I would ask your surgeon just to make sure, though. =)

  516. Libby May 8, 2014 at 4:39 am #

    I just got my jaw splint off yesterday after having it on for 8 weeks.
    I am in a bit of a panic had cooked up liver & bacon my favourite tonight thinking it would be ok but couldn’t bite down on it at all. Ended up having to put it all through the blender. I am worried I am never going to be able to chew again. I had double jaw surgery where they widened my palate, straightened & brought forward both jaws, genioplasty, widened my oesophagus & did a septoplasty for a deviated septum. I was in surgery for 5 hours. The splint stayed on for the 8 weeks due to the need to widen the palate extensively. Tell me will I ever be able to chew again?

  517. Graham May 8, 2014 at 9:17 am #

    Libby, your situations sounds identical to my own. I had a splint in for 7 weeks and was not able to bite through tough meat for another 3–4 weeks following that. You should be able to eat most cooked vegetables and pastas right now, but note that having your splint removed does not immediately replace the strength in your jaw. Think of it like having a cast on a broken bone: once the cast comes off, you still need to do physio and allow time for the strength to return since you haven’t used that part of your body for a while. You will absolutely be able to chew again, but it will take a few weeks for the strength in your jaw to return. The best thing you can do is start by eating softer foods, such as pasta, and work your way up from there. Avoid steak, liver, nuts, and hard vegetables for a little while longer. Good luck! =)

  518. donna May 14, 2014 at 12:13 am #

    hey graham! im not sure if you still check this site and reply to the comments. Ive been trying to do the surgery for the past 5 years but i couldnt because of the financial issue. I went to an orthodontist who told me he can fix my underbite(which was class 3) with braces and elastics. i got braces for 4 years and the orthodontist turned out to be a fraud who closed his clinic and now i’m stuck with the brackets. i finally have an appointment with a jaw surgeon Monday and hopefully i will be on the road to getting my under bite fixed! your site has helped me a lot. thanks to you, i now know everything i will have to go through since i will also be undergoing a double jaw surgery. 4 years after u created this website and its still helping so many people…thank you so much!

  519. jo May 14, 2014 at 7:26 am #

    Uk calling here! I just wanted to say what an amazing blog this is! My daughter underwent double jaw surgery on April 29th this year, to correct an overbite that she had as she was born with a cleft lip and palate.She has had her top jaw moved out and down, and her bottom jaw moved back,and needless to say, she has her jaw wired. She is now on day 15 following surgery and I am amazed at her strong spirit! All of the other peoples experiences on here have helped so much in understanding that everything she is going through is perfectly normal. Thankyou to all that have posted, your experiences shared are invaluable! Hope you are all recovered, or recovering well. :-))

  520. Graham May 14, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    Donna, that’s too bad to hear about your experience with the orthodontist. I think dishonesty is one of the most unattractive traits in society today, but I know it’s still rampant. Good luck with your consultations and let me know when you’ll be going in for surgery! =)

  521. Graham May 14, 2014 at 8:53 am #

    Jo, glad to hear my stories have provided some assurance for you! It sounds like your daughter has a positive attitude about this entire situation, and that alone is the most useful tool to combat recovery. May she smile brighter forevermore!

  522. Shasha May 14, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    Thank you so much,I talked to my coach about it so it might be a while to heal

  523. Michelle May 15, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    Hey Graham,
    I have to say your blog prepared me and helped me get through the time after my jaw surgery. I got double jaw surgery on May 2nd, so I’m at my two week point. Miraculously almost all of my swelling is gone, i feel little to no pain, and I’m pretty much back to normal. My surgeon and physiotherapist suggest i try the soft food diet, dream come true right, not so much. i’ve read your blog over many times so i feel like i should know this but were you on a completely liquid diet the time you had your splint in? If not my struggle is trying to chew anything with the splint. It’s like trying to chew with a mouth guard in. Any suggestions? Also did you feel like you had to learn how to chew again, I’m having that problem too. The chewing motion does not feel natural. One more thing, cleaning, I brush at least three times a day, if I’m home i rinse my mouth out after every “meal”, I’ve gone through more mouth wash in these two weeks then i would in three months, did you have little tricks to get between wires or anything so you feel like you didn’t have bad breathe all the time? Thanks for the help.

  524. Graham May 16, 2014 at 8:34 am #

    Hi Michelle,

    1) I was on a liquid diet the entire time I had my splint in (7 weeks) for the same reason you mentioned—I was unable to chew with it in. I survived on fruit smoothies and different flavors of blended Chunky soup.

    2) The day my splint was removed, I was really excited to eat some pasta, however, I wasn’t able to do so. It took me about 2 weeks to build up enough strength in my jaw to be able to eat even soft foods like spaghetti and noodle soups with vegetables in them. I also had to relearn how to chew due to my jaws being in a different position than my brain was used to having them. That part took about 3 days, however I would accidentally (but rarely) bite my tongue and cheek once in a while for about 6 months afterwards.

    3) As for brushing, I could not find anything that would eliminate my bad breath. It smelled like I had meat being smoked in my mouth until I finally got my splint out and was able to brush and floss properly. I simply learned to not breathe on people and to not exhale towards people while speaking.

    It’s amazing how clean you first feel when your splint is removed. Being able to brush, floss, and swish mouthwash around is incredible!

    All in all, everything you’re experiencing is perfectly normal and you have nothing to worry about. =)

  525. serina hussain May 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

    Hi Graham I got lower jaw surgery done on Monday . It’s now day 5. I’m a little bit concerned . On day one I was spitting out a lot of blood but by day two that had dissapeared . I haven’t been bleeding for days . However all of a sudden today day 5 i’m bleeding again . Is this normal

  526. Graham May 26, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    Serina, I wouldn’t worry about random bleeding during the first couple of weeks. With all of the swelling, coupled with your stitches, there are many opportunities for the skin inside your mouth to tear a bit and produce blood (you might not even feel it due to being a bit numb). Unless the bleeding is causing chronic pain or affecting your breathing, I would imagine it will go away in short time. =)

  527. serina hussain May 27, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

    Thank you Graham that’s a great reassurance !

    Also , my teeth are shut with tight elastics. I was wondering how long was it before you started brushing the inside of your mouth ?

    My surgeon told me to practise taking off the elastics and putting them back on so I can brush my teeth inside and so forth. I’m nervous about it. What if I can’t do it or I do it wrong or hook it on the wrong hook ? Will that affect anything

    I know this sounds really stupid but it’s almost like im scared to open my mouth because I feel like it could just break apart. Lol I have some serious physiological issues clearly

  528. Graham May 28, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    Hi Serina,

    I wasn’t able to brush the inside of my mouth until I had my splint removed at 7 weeks post-op. It’s amazing that one can avoid brushing their teeth for that long and still not have cavities. I guess that’s one of the benefits of not eating sugar.

    Don’t fret about switching your elastics. Just keep practising and soon it won’t be a chore at all. It took me over 10 minutes to switch my elastics the first time I tried, but I was down to about 15 seconds soon after that. If you place them on the wrong hooks, you’ll feel tension on your teeth and know to fix them. You won’t cause any longterm damage, so no need to worry about that. =)

  529. Bonita May 28, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

    I’ve had a hard time finding anyone my age who has had jaw sugery. I’m 59 and I had bilateral saggital split osteotomy May 1st. It has been a good experience so far. Being unable to tolerate side effects of pain medication I haven’t used any since the day of surgery. My numbness gets better every day. I have to admit I don’t enjoy the burning and tingling. I keep telling myself it’s a good thing because I know my nerves are alive. Thank you for your blog. It gives us all encouragement. I am four weeks out and I’m happy with the results so far.

  530. Graham May 29, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    Bonita, I’ve met a few people around your age who took on this surgery and recovered much the same as everyone else, so you can rest assured your experience should be similar to what you find on this blog. And good call with viewing the burning and tingling (I call that feeling “pins and needles”) as confirmation that your nerves are healing up!

  531. Rosalie June 2, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    First, thank you Graham for keeping this blog up years after you are fully recovered! Reading through all the comments and the different experiences is oddly soothing.

    I’m 21 and on day 18 of recovery! I’m not 100% what the proper medical terms are but I had a deviated jaw bite (5mm) as well as an overbite(2mm) which resulted in cutting, placing, and adding 21 screws both the top and bottom of my face. I was never locked shut with metal(thank goodness) but have been placed on heavy elastics which I was told to not remove which keep my jaw completely shut (hail the smoothie gods).

    A few days ago I started having acute pain in my left ear (the side which I was shifted) which I would put on a 9/10 pain scale. I have been told that the extreme numbness of my face was normal and the tingling was actually a positive sign of nerves being active again but have never heard about extreme pain around my ears? I’m afraid that this might be a sign that something has gone wrong? Maybe I’ve cracked something during one of my spazzes (They are more and more frequent and usually at night) ?

  532. Graham June 3, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    Rosalie, I’ve met a few people who experienced an onslaught of ear pain at different points during the first month of recovery. As your jaw heals, it does shift around minutely, so it’s possible the latest shift could be inducing pressure, thereby causing the pain in your ear. If it continues for more than a day or two, I would give you surgeon a call and ask if they can run a quick x-ray to make sure nothing has bumped out of place. Apologies that I can’t provide a more direct answer… I’m just pretending to be a doctor here! =)

  533. tabitha June 11, 2014 at 1:10 am #

    I think it’s soooo amazing how after years of writing this you still care to respond to people. You’re amazing!!!!
    I want jaw surgery so bad for my over bite. …
    Buti still look attractive as it is now so im scared it will change how i look in a bad way.
    But i hate my teeth. All my family and my husband say they like my teeth. But i hate them!!

    Should i just do it?

  534. Graham June 11, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    Tabitha, I would recommend undergoing this surgery only if you require it for medical reasons. If you’re having trouble breathing, speaking clearly, chewing, sleeping, or keeping your mouth closed, then this surgery will help. If your only concerns are cosmetic, it’s probably not worth the trauma to your body. That being said, there’s no harm in going in for a consultation with an oral surgeon and asking for their professional opinion. =)

  535. Anna June 13, 2014 at 8:06 am #

    What did you do to lose so much weight in two weeks?

  536. Graham June 14, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    Anna, the only reason I lost so much weight initially is because I was intentionally bulking up at the gym in the months before surgery. I basically lost weight until I was a few pounds below my natural weight. If you go into surgery at your natural weight, you’ll likely only lost 5–10 lbs.

  537. Will June 15, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

    Hey man, so impressed with your upkeep on this blog, i would have given up in the first 2 weeks.

    This isn’t strictly a question, just praise. You’ve helped me (and obviously plenty of others) to answer most questions and keep optimistic through this fairly grotty period, so thank you!

    Nearly got my splint off now and aiming to be sorted by the end of the month for a gig i’ve been planning!


  538. Graham June 16, 2014 at 8:12 am #

    Will, always happy to hear that my rants have helped people with their recovery. Enjoy life post-splint!

  539. Ialu June 21, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    Hey Graham!

    I can’t thank you enough for this website. My daughter had her sx on Monday, June 16th, and it’s not been easy (double jaw sx for underbite, and widening of upper palate), and were it not for your website AND your continuing to care for your readers, I don’t think we would have made it through this week. She has had a lot of pain (the doctors said most people don’t get feeling back in their face as quickly as she has), but I keep telling her she’s not alone, and it WILL get better.

    I do have a question (she would like to know):
    Her swelling seems to be quite lopsided, and her nose is crooked. I’m sure it’s normal (and I did ask her doctor about it…he’s not concerned), but I guess she needs to hear from you or your readers that it will even out in time, and she will not always look like this.
    I’m guessing that at only 6 days out from surgery, this is VERY normal.

    Thanks again for your thoughtfulness and caring for others. May you receive it all back 100 fold! :)

  540. Graham June 22, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    Lalu, it’s always frustrating to hear about the first few weeks of recovery for others because I remember how difficult every little task seemed. With regards to swelling, your daughter has nothing to worry about. I recall also fretting about having a lopsided face and a crooked nose, but once the swelling goes away, everything will be aligned once again. Do keep in mind that it’s best not to evaluate the look or shape of your face until approximately 2.5 months have passed, because the swelling can pull your nose out of line up until that point. Keep encouraging your daughter and let her that that the second week will be a bit better and the third week will be a lot better. =)

  541. Ialu June 22, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    Thanks, Graham! That is encouraging. :)

  542. Ray June 25, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

    Hey Graham,
    I had my 3 week post op meeting with my surgeon after having double jaw surgery. He gave me the go ahead to start eating soft foods and, to my surprise, removed my elastics (I was wearing them 24/7 up to that point). I’ve read a couple of people’s experience with jaw surgery and it seems like almost everyone had to continue wearing elastics under they returned to orthodontics. I’m a little nervous that without the elastics my bite might shift. It seems like my midline may have shifted a little, but not sure if that’s just me being paranoid. Have you heard of other people having their elastics removed so soon/before returning to ortho work? Thanks for your insight.

  543. Graham June 26, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    Ray, every surgeon has their own recovery program for patients, but I think most of them involve wearing your elastics until returning to the orthodontist. To be safe, you can even just wear your elastics at night to ensure your teeth stay in position until you visit your orthodontist again. As always, it’s best to ask your surgeon or orthodontist personally, since they may have valid reasons for asking you to refrain from wearing them. Good luck!

  544. Nicole June 27, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

    Hey there! I’m supposed to have my underbite jaw surgery in about a year and a half. I will be in school at the time, and was wondering if you thought I’d be able to continue classes after 3 weeks of rest. I would have it done at the very beginning of 2016.

    Also, I am very insecure about the thought of having major swelling when going back to school. How much of the swelling goes away in the first couple weeks?

  545. Graham June 28, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

    Nicole, it generally takes approximately one month before you’re able to communicate clearly again and swelling may be quite intense for the first six weeks of recovery. I would recommend having the surgery at the beginning of summer holidays, if possible. =)

  546. Jane hodges June 30, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

    Graham, thanks so much for your good advice and continuing positive outlook–it is so very inspirational and has certainly made a difference helping my daughter through this difficult surgery. I have a concern. She had the surgery (double jaw and a repeat upper palate widening) about 10 weeks ago. She is experiencing an increasing burning sensation in her lower lip and tightness in her chin for about the past two weeks. The concern is that the discomfort is increasing rather than decreasing with time. Have you heard of this happening? Her surgeon is rather cavalier about it saying it will get better with time.

  547. Graham July 1, 2014 at 9:21 am #

    Hi Jane,

    I would usually attribute a burning sensation to a person’s nerves reawakening, even at the 10-week mark. Nerves may jump around for up to 6 months following the operation.

    However, the fact that it sounds painful is odd at this point. If it’s an infection, you should be able to see redness in the skin inside her mouth. If the skin looks okay, I would honestly give it another week and see if the problem goes away. If not, you may want to request an x-ray from her surgeon to ensure the brackets on her jaw have not slipped.

    As for tightness of the chin, this could be related to scar tissue, so whistling will help break that up. Hope this helps! =)

  548. Peggy UK July 3, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    Graham this blog is fantastic. Im due for surgery on 16/7/14 and to say that I am apprehensive is an understatement. Im due for upper and lower jaw surgery and the thought and prospects of not being able to eat, speak or function normally is gonna drive me insane! Im an active 41yr old and like many of the bloggers I have now been slightly reassured that everything will be ok!!! Ok iv had to cancel a holiday as iv been told that im not allowed to fly within 12 wks of surgery but having had braces on for nearly 3 yrs and surgery, I can take a holiday at any time cant I?! Think im so looking forward to looking different, eating better and not spitting and drooling over everyone. Yip surgery will be ok, the afterwards bit may be slightly uncomfortable but it cant be any worse than child birth right???

  549. Graham July 4, 2014 at 8:49 am #