Recovery Tips

I’ve put together a list of useful tips for anyone who is on the road to undergo jaw surgery of any sort. I wish I would have known some of these things before I walked into the hospital.

To begin, I highly suggest you pick up the following essentials before your surgery:

  • Food – chicken broth, Ensure, tomato soup, prune juice and smoothie ingredients (whole milk, ice cream, yogurt, peanut butter, honey, strawberries, bananas and oatmeal)
  • Entertainment – movies, video games, books and anything else of interest to you that requires minimal energy
  • Other — medicated lip balm, several cloths and a couple of hot packs (the ones you’re allowed to heat up in the microwave)

You need not worry about medicine or syringes because the hospital will provide both of these for you. Be sure to fill all of your prescriptions the day you’re allowed to return home, because I guarantee that you’ll need each and every one of them eventually. I didn’t pick up my painkiller at first because I was completely numb and felt no pain, but a few days later, when I felt a little bit of discomfort and was unable to sleep, I wished I had that medicine on hand.

I’ve summed up the most important things I learned during my recovery below. If you choose not to follow this advice, I feel quite confident that you will discover these things on your own in due time.

  • Drink lots of prune juice and water. Your toilet time will be far from enjoyable for the first couple of weeks because you’re likely to be severely dehydrated. The prune juice will provide your body with the fiber it needs to work those bowels properly, but fiber is useless without water because it won’t dissolve in your body. I recommend a bare minimum of 1 L of water per day. Drink 2 L per day as soon as you can.
  • Before you attempt to pull any dead skin off of your lips, be absolutely certain that it’s not a stitch. I learned this the hard way.
  • Start using medicated lip balm immediately following your return to your own home. If you don’t, you’ll end up with flaps of dead skin that are half an inch in diameter, and I promise you they won’t feel good when they catch on your braces.
  • Apply heat to your face 3-4 times per day for the first 5-6 weeks to help with the swelling. The heat will also help you fall asleep.
  • Begin each day at a decent time. If you sleep most of the day, you won’t be able to sleep at night, and you’ll hate yourself for it. Get out of bed, shower, eat some breakfast and brush your teeth and you’ll enjoy each day a lot more. (This is good advice for any day of your life, but it especially applies when you’re on the verge of depression from having jaw surgery.)
  • Go to bed on time. Yawning will cause you quite a bit of pain, so prevent it by getting the right amount of sleep during the proper hours.
  • As soon as you’re able to talk clearly enough for friends and family to understand you, call people and be social. Go outside and enjoy nature. Whatever you do, ensure you don’t fall into a trap of loneliness and self-pity.
  • Start drinking from a cup as soon as you’re physically able to. Your upwards trek back to having full energy begins the day you can throw your syringes in the garbage.
  • Eat solid food as soon as your surgeon gives you the go-ahead. It’ll be a slow, tedious and frustrating process, but you need to go through with it in order to build your jaw muscles back up and learn how to chew properly once again.
  • It may take some time to get used to your new smile and your newly structured face. Don’t be ashamed of yourself. You don’t look funny at all. You’re simply not used to looking like you’re supposed to.
  • And lastly, don’t worry about your looks, bite or facial feeling for at least 6 months. You may have an open bite, but you’ll wake up one morning and your teeth will have migrated back together. You may be completely numb, but feeling will return almost overnight.

If you have any questions about the recovery process, or perhaps have other pointers to share with upcoming jaw surgery patients, feel free to jot them down in the comments.

1,081 Comments on “Recovery Tips”

  1. jessbav July 18, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    Another tip or two:
    1) Don’t worry if you spit out (or drain out) a fair bit of blood and yucky mucous in the first week or so. It’s UTTERLY REVOLTING but quite normal, so don’t panic like I did. Get yourself a couple of RED pillow cases as you may wake up with blood on your pillow. Keep a little damp towel by the bed, and plenty of (soft balm) tissues, to mop up as necessary.
    2) You may lose your voice for a bit, or find it REALLY hard to talk. Try talking more quietly and in a lower register, as it’ll put less strain on the voice. Don’t avoid talking altogether, even though it’s not comfortable, as it’ll help with swelling and muscle strength.
    3) Don’t worry if you get shooting nerve pains for a few days – of course, it’s worth checking out if it lasts longer than that, but your nerves will be stretched quite a bit during surgery so may well complain about it. It is HORRIBLE but temporary.
    4) Try to keep gently active as you can. You’ll lose your muscle strength surprisingly quickly and soon feel as weak as a kitten, so try to go out for a walk every day if you can, and build up slowly. Try not to avoid EVERYTHING in life, but keep on doing stuff even if you feel weak, and sad.
    5) Don’t worry if you feel low,depressed,sad, grumpy, & irritable: some of this is due to the medication, and some of it is just normal recovery. Keep doing as much of your normal activity as you possibly can, and try not to get seduced into a self-pitiful collapsing on the sofa mentality for too long or for too often. The reverse is also important – don’t do too much too soon. Listen to your body if it HURTS or is EXHAUSTED.

  2. Graham July 18, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    Jessbav, I couldn’t agree more with all of your points, especially the one about keeping active. Getting outside for a walk each and every day in the beginning of your recovery is one of the most important things I can think of.

    If you don’t, you may end up miserable very quickly. Enjoy that sunlight!

  3. A August 11, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    Hey Graham,

    Great site, thanks for keeping it posted! I have used this site as my bible for the past few weeks and will be using it for months to come. I am now 6 days post-op and I was wondering if you had any advice on rinsing and cleaning in general – my situation is a bit different for the fact that I am actually wired (not banded) shut and likely will be for 3-4 weeks. I have a small (youth) toothbrush and use the rinse as outlined but I find it hard with both my lips being numb and my teeth being stuck together. Did you ever use a sponge or Q-tips to clean your gums? I read that from someone else on another site because it looked like they had buildup on there. Anywho, any feedback will be great and I’ll keep posted!

    Thanks and congratulations on your progress and results!

  4. Graham August 11, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    Hi there!

    I only ever rinsed my mouth out using water and the medicated mouthwash the surgeon prescribed for me. Once I was able to brush, I started doing that.

    My mouth was absolutely disgusting until my splint was taken out and I was completely unbanded though.

    I never used sponges or Q-tips to clean my gums. I just accepted that my mouth wouldn’t be fresh until I could brush and floss like a regular person once again.

    You’ll be in Heaven when you’re allowed to open your mouth again! Keep thinking positive!

  5. abcd August 13, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Thanks for doing this daily update! It’s fun to read, and will keep me occupied as I trudge through the same journey. Also, it’s comforting to know of other people that have had surgery similar to mine and understands all the pains and sadnesses of not being able to eat “real” food (including friends constantly asking you to go out for a bite). It makes me feel slightly better that there are those out there who can fully sympathize. Glad your recovery has gone well!

  6. Graham August 13, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    I still remember it well! Eating is such a blessing. =)

  7. Vince August 14, 2010 at 5:24 am #

    I am 4 days post-op and I miss chewing so much. I hope to be able to feel better everyday. I find it quite a struggle to get through the day at the moment.

  8. Graham August 14, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    The first 2 weeks are the toughest, my friend. Remember to get outside. :-)

  9. Cindy August 30, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    I’m almost a week post-op and I already miss solid foods :P. Also, my face is still swollen but you look a lot better than I do right now – let me just tell you it’s hard to look in the mirror aha. I’m a pretty impatient person so I’m anxious to see my results. I’m glad I found this blog, it should help me along the way :). Thanks for posting!

  10. Graham September 1, 2010 at 2:14 am #

    Hi Cindy!

    Patience is key here! Time will fly by once you’re talking and eating again, I promise!

    Soon enough, you’ll be loving the new face smiling back at you in the mirror. =)

  11. Bender October 1, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    this site is very helpful. im on my 3rd day, im trying to stay active, just by walking around, and doing what i can for my self. ive showered twice (solo) now. but i just wanted to say thanks man this site is great it really helps relieve anxiety.

  12. Graham October 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm #

    Hehe, I like how showering all by yourself is such a triumph. I know how exciting that can be!

    Keep thinking positive, my friend.

  13. Julia October 20, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    I’m not sure if you still check this blog but my brother is on day 3 of double jaw surgery with his jaw wired shut – he is finding it very difficult to breathe. He also has lots of phlegm he says which is also difficult to deal with. Just wondering if you had any suggestions of what he could do to feel more comfortable or breathe easier. Thanks.

  14. Graham October 20, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    Hey Julia,

    I had trouble breathing for the first few weeks as well. I found that I had no issues while sleeping, which led me to believe that I was just feeling a bit claustrophobic due to the swelling and phlegm.

    The only solution I found was always gurgling with salt water and hanging my head over a sink to drain the blood and phlegm out of my mouth. It sounds gross, but it was the best I could come up with.

    Unless your brother gets sick and stuffed up even more, I think it’s just an inconvenience for the first few weeks of recovery.

    Graham

  15. Dingdong November 2, 2010 at 3:51 am #

    I just undergo surgery 2 days ago on top and bottom jaw because of a serious underbite. Had phlegm for a day now, been coughing lately. Throat is in serious pain. Uvula is super swollen, unable to swallow liquid at the moment. Vomit up alot of blood yesterday. Throat is so dry, but been trying to swallow water as best as I can. Hopefully these pain go away really quick, as I hate being in this position right now.

  16. Graham November 2, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Wow, I remember those first days–they were really uncomfortable. Try to drink as much Boost/Ensure as you can with the syringes, but don’t expect to be eating anything too efficiently for another few weeks.

    Stay positive, my friend!

  17. LaurenGrigg November 6, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    Hi,
    I just had surgery last Tuesday!
    My recovery is great so far, just a swollen face and that’s it really. Numbness on the right Hand side of my face but there is none on my left! I won’t finding out til Wednesday if I will be needing elastics or not as my bite went into place perfectly apparently! This site is amazing as I was totally freaking out about it all! I’ve been able to eat with a straw and a spoon since the day of my operation and te medicine makes me tired! Just wanna see what my face is gonna look like as I’ve hated my appearance for 20 years. I’ve added you on facebook Graham if you don’t mind! Thanks for this website, it’s been such a life saver! =] xx

  18. Graham November 6, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    Hey Lauren,

    Glad to hear your recovery is going so well! I’m a bit jealous of how easy you’re making it sound.

    You sound super excited about the outcome. I hope you’re impressed with it!

    Talk to ya later.

  19. Dingdong November 7, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    Hey Graham,

    A week has passed now, I’m feeling much better on my pain scale. The only problem i’m having now is getting myself to sleep. Let me tell ya, I’ve been up for 35+ hours now. It really sucks because I can’t recover as fast. Did you have this problem? I have my first week apt with my surgeon tomorrow and will need to let them know every little thing that’s been going on with me. Just wondering if you had the same problem happened to you.

    Thanks.

  20. Graham November 7, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    I wasn’t able to sleep through the night for about 2 weeks.

    To get to sleep, I’d take codeine before bed, heat up a heatpack in the microwave, lay down on the couch with the heatpack on my face and fall asleep while watching TV.

    It worked well enough, but I wasn’t well rested until at least a couple of weeks in.

  21. Dingdong November 7, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    Where can I find these lifesavers, I’m in need of some real bad!!!

    Thanks for cmt so quick btw!

  22. JessicaNB November 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    What a great site!! I just wanto to say good job and I think I will recommend this site to other people I know that will be having jaw surgury. I wish I would have visited here before my surgury! Great advice! :-)

  23. Graham November 25, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    Thanks Jessica! =) Maybe it’s a good thing you didn’t know about it. It may have scared you away from the surgery.

  24. Graham November 25, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    Dingdong, you can grab a prescription for codeine from your surgeon… if you’re lucky.

  25. Anthony December 4, 2010 at 11:43 pm #

    Monday will be 6 weeks since surgery on both upper and lower jaw and will get my splint out then so I’m really excited. I only had a few rubber bands in after surgery for the first few days until my first week checkup then I was completely banded down for 2 weeks! Talk about disappointment and a serious downer! Just tough it out! Now they say my bite is going perfectly into position.

    Question is when I get the splint out can I open my mouth wider? Doesn’t hurt that much to yawn anymore but still can’t open up that much.

    I would add that the colgate perio guard liquid I was given I would put in my syringe and kind of push it in between my gums and lips in thr Corner of my mouth. Just felt gross until unbanded and just weather the storm really.

    Make sure to stay away from acids! Tried oj once and learned the hard way..

    Def have to stay mentally strong n I don’t know how many times I just slept to not think about it or was depressed :/

    Once you can open your jaw enough with no pain I’ve found out that just sticking in marshmallows or gummies or noodles and just swallowing them to help as something different but or course be careful!!

  26. Graham December 5, 2010 at 1:45 am #

    Anthony, you sound like you’ve learned a thing or two the hard way. Attitude is the most important part of this (as cliche as that sounds).

    To answer your question, once your splint comes out and you start talking and eating again for a few months, your movement will all come back. It’ll take the better part of a year though, so give it time.

  27. Soccer Dad December 13, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    I just had upper and lower, as well as some nasal work (inferior turbinate reduction and revision septoplasty). I can see that sleep is a major problem. That’s why I wanted to share the warning my surgeon gave me. He said that a lot of people have this type of surgery to correct sleep apnea, so if you can’t sleep post-op be very careful not to medicate without express approval from the doc. During these critical weeks, lack of sleep stinks, but always side with caution.

    By the way, not sure why this happens, but you will be blasted with every good food commercial made since the beginning of time just to make you drool at what you can’t have for a few weeks (smile).

    Thanks for the tip about the heating pads!!

  28. Graham December 13, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    I agree, Soccer Dad. Don’t give in to extra medication unless you still can’t sleep after a solid month or so. It took me 2 full weeks before I could sleep through the night.

    Keep enjoying those commercials! ;-)

  29. Hannah January 24, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    Thanks for the entertaining reading, Graham. You bring hope to a gal that also had a double jaw surgery with genioplasty. Fortunately, I don’t think my recovery time will be anywhere near the length yours was! God bless you, I don’t know how you did it. I’m just over the three week mark and I’m going totally stir crazy. I think another TOTAL of 3 weeks until I’m totally free from anything foreign in my mouth.
    You humor and good spirits were inspiring throughout your recovery!

  30. Graham January 24, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    Hannah, thanks for your kind remarks! It’s like anything else in this life–it feels like forever at the time, but once it’s all over, you’ll look back and wonder where all the time went!

    I see you’re a personal trainer (and then some). I respect you and your love for the gym. I’m quite hooked on that lifestyle myself!

  31. Hannah January 25, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    Yes! If you’re ever in NYC, contact me and we’ll do a comp session to see what skillz you got ;) I got hints of how much you enjoyed being physically active throughout your blog!

  32. Graham January 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    Haha, remember those words, Hannah. I live in Philadelphia right now, so I’ll be in NYC a few times over the next few months. I love that city!

  33. tripletmom February 12, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    Thank you for this blog Graham! One of my 15 year old sons has to have this surgery along with the genioplasty in August. Did I read it correctly that you took 2 weeks off of work? I am wondering if my son will be able to go to school by week 4. It’s very difficult to try to plan for. Any advise would be appreciated.

  34. Graham February 12, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    Hi tripletmom,

    I went back to work after 2 weeks yes, but I couldn’t speak. Luckily, I’m a programmer, so I didn’t need to.

    Your son should be able to talk a bit after 4 weeks, but he won’t be able to give presentations or anything like that. I’d say he’ll be alright. 4 weeks is quite a bit of time to get rid of that swelling and get some movement back in his jaw muscles.

  35. tripletmom February 16, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    Thanks for the feedback. I have to go meet with the principal and guidance department soon to discuss what his needs will be during the first couple of weeks back to school. Really appreciate all the great info that you’ve covered here! Thanks again!!

  36. Tyler February 16, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

    Hey there Graham, First off, this is an incredible blog you have written and maintained here! Its very helpful and has given me some confidence and most of all has reminded me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Your final results are what I have dreamed of having my entire life, it looks amazing. I read the reasons for why you had your surgery performed and I felt the exact same way and had all the exact same reasons.

    I am on day 8 of my recovery. I had double jaw surgery like you due to my under bite and crossbite. They also removed a wisdom tooth on my top left, which was rooted into my sinus cavity that I never had removed when my wisdom teeth were pulled.

    However, my question to you is, how long did the shooting/burning/tingling nerve pains in your jaw/chin region last for? I haven’t been able to sleep for two nights now because they are so irritating and intense and the cinstant throbbing makes it impossible to fall asleep to…therefore I am up reading your blog right now lol

    I know this is due to the fact that during the op, the doctors need to pull and stretch the nerves in order to safely work around them, but its really annoying and I was wondering when your stopped.

    Thanks!

  37. Graham February 17, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    Hey Tyler,

    I wasn’t able to sleep through the night for about 2.5 weeks following surgery. The sharp sensations in my nerves kept up their annoying antics for well over a month.

    You’ll probably be able to start sleeping in another week or so, but I understand how frustrating it is for you.

    I spent quite a few of those initial nights watching TV until I passed out. It gets better though! Everything will be uphill from 2 weeks onward!

    Good luck, my friend!

  38. Kala February 18, 2011 at 2:29 am #

    Dear Graham,

    From what I’ve read from your posts and what everyone else has posted, Americans do their surgeries diferently from the Germans.

    It’s been 7 weeks since my surgery. I had both jaws worke don, sinus cavities enlarged, gummy smile removed, upper jaw untwisted, and bone taken off my chin. Yeah I had alot done.

    I was in care for five days after my surgery. I had cold back on my face for the first three days. My mouth was wired shut too with the split in there. I woke up after surgery and I remember viomtting on my mother…it was not plesant. Black old blood. Did the same thing in the middle of the night. Left a horrible taste in my mouth, but the nurses cleaned my mouth out with a soft preasured water pick. Felt like a mist in my mouth. Really helped and strangly enough they sprayed a mouth freshener in my mouth. It was nice of them.

    I did not eat until the 4th day after surgery and that was only yogurt. It was smooth enough to swollow. Because they worked on my sinuses, I couldn’t taste anything until I blew my nose. Werid, I know, but true. I also had drainage tubes in my mouth until the fourth day. I was told to get up and walk around, which I did. I was so weak and I swore a snail could move faster than me. After I took a walk, I went right down for a nap each time. I found I was awake alot at night, but I had my music on or the TV so it wasn’t all that bad. Don’t bring a book though, you won’t be well enough to read it let alone hold it.

    I was released on new years eve, which was pleasant. Sleeping in a normal bed was weird. The hospital beds you can move around to your comfort, but with normal beds you can not. I also could not control the amount of drool I had. When I was awake, I just wrapped a towel around myself and switched it out when it got to wet. Nasty, but you can’t help it. When I slept, I kept a towel on my pillow. I also found that a small blanket placed under her chin helps keep your head balance while you sleep.

    I agree with what you say, keep active and talk with family and friends. Once I was able to talk, my swelling with down alot. My friends came over on new years day and they just stared. I notice people just tend to do that. You feel awkward, but people have to get used to you as much as you have to get used to yourself.

    I found that ice packs have helped me more than warm packs. The warm packs causes the nerves to tingle? Yeah feels like bugs on my face with the warm packs.

    I’m back in school now, I’ve been table to chew for a week now. It feels strange and I’m having to relearn how to chew. I also notice I can’t close my lips when I chew. Did you have this problem? I’m not sure if it is normal or not.

    I do notice if I talk to much or laugh alot, my jaws tell me hours later that it was a pain thing with horrible pain. Guess thats just a normal thing, dunno.

    Also since I started chewing, I found I can’t really feel that I am chewing because of the numbness. Did you have this problem as well?

    Also how long did it take for you to like you new self? I have a few self-pity parties and it sucks. I know it will take awhile, but dunno. My mother says I’m making a big deal out of it. Just looking in the mirror seems strange. I’m still swollen and I look completely different. Only my eyes stayed the same.

    Sorry that this is so long, just the Germans don’t have really good websites or information about the aftermath. They don’t like to talk about it. I’m different, I want to talk and learn more about others that have gone through this. again I’m so sorry this is so long.

  39. Graham February 18, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    Wow, Kala, you wrote me an entire essay!

    I’m glad you’re over the worst part now. Your drooling issues sounded a bit more intense than what I experienced. But at least that’s behind you.

    I didn’t have any trouble closing my lips when I started chewing. Are you still swollen by chance? You should definitely be able to keep your lips together!

    Learning to chew was quite an adjustment due to the numbness, yes. You’ll get used to it and it’ll begin to feel normal. No worries!

    As for how long it took because I was alright with how I ended up looking, it was definitely a few months. I’ve fully accepted it now (and I feel really good about my smile), but I was a little iffy about the entire situation for the first 4-5 months. You’ll grow to appreciate yourself though. It just takes time for your mind to adjust to seeing a different version of your face in the mirror.

    My best advice for you is to give it time. All of your issues should resolve themselves over the next few months. :-)

  40. Josh February 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    Graham,

    I wish I saw your site from the get go and not 2 weeks after my recovery! It’s probably been the best source of tips I’ve seen yet. I had my surgery December 9th 2010, so the worst of my recovery has been over for a while. Only a few more weeks till the doc says I can play soccer again.

    My favorite tip from your website… I cant remember if it was stated explicitly or not…

    STAY POSITIVE: The worst parts for me were when I started to question why I did it. Don’t question it. It IS worth it.

    and yes… the out doors do help you keep positive.

  41. Graham February 18, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    Indeed, Josh! A pity party is pretty unhealthy regardless of your situation, but it’s especially taxing when you, ya’know, can’t do much of anything else (including eating, talking and sleeping).

    You’ll be good to go once summer gets here. How exciting is that?!

  42. Tyler February 20, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    Hey i just had lower jaw surgery friday and i have no brusing is that normal ? or does it show up later and ive got a stuffy nose which sucks and alot of Saliva After drinking and it sounds like i can growl lol do you have to ware the ice pack for a week ?

  43. Graham February 21, 2011 at 7:45 am #

    Hey Tyler,

    I didn’t have much bruising either. It’s normal. Some people’s skin just doesn’t bruise too easily.

    I’d use heat or ice packs until your swelling begins to subside. I used them for about a month.

  44. Kala February 21, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    Hello Graham,

    I know it was an eassy, I’m sorry about that. Just really happy I found a site that was active and helpful to my problems.

    I’m still swollen around my nose, and from the corners of my lips to the bottom of my eyes. It’s kind of two circles on my cheeks. I try hard to close my lips, but I can’t yet. It’s really strange. Maybe because I am trying to get used to my new bite?

    Alright. I went out with my friends again for a social get together like we used to before my surgery. I had a little pity party when I looked in the mirror. I was scared to go out, but my friend who was over forced me. I was feeling really bad about my looks since I believe the swelling makes me look like a child. Until a friend showed me a picture she took of me. It was beautiful! So I think your right on how it will just take time to get used to it. Thanks. =)

  45. Graham February 21, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    Indeed! I never wanted to go out in public at first either, but my friends reassured me that, when it all comes down to it, the people who care about you really don’t care what you look like (or at least they shouldn’t). That proved to be entirely true on my end–everyone was very supportive.

    Most of the issues we have are conjured up inside our own head. Once we’re aware of that reality, we’re able to fight them down and go on living life again!

  46. Tyler February 21, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    was it hard for you to brush your teeth ? i can only brush the front and when i try to get into the back it hurts abit so i stop and start using the syringe and i got a peice of chicken in the splint been trying to get it out using the syringe but not working any suggestions ?

  47. Tyler February 21, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    how long did it take you to go out after to to a movie ?

  48. Graham February 21, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    Haha, I had a pea stuck under my splint for about 2 weeks. It felt so gross!

    For some reason, you don’t get cavities, despite being unable to brush well for such a long period of time. Just do what feels alright. Let your pain be your guide.

    I went out to a movie within my first 2 weeks, but I had to bring a cloth with me because I was still drooling. Classy, I know.

  49. Tyler February 21, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    Oh yea haha i only had my lower jaw done on friday and its tingling right now its and its pretty annoying hopfully i get the ice and stuff off in a couple days when i go for my appointment and get the stiches off my face from the metal plate

  50. Tyler February 21, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    what happens if you blow your nose with a broken Lower jaw ?

  51. Graham February 21, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    Just be gentle about it so you don’t throw your face outta whack. Once again, let your pain be your guide. :-)

  52. Tyler February 21, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    ah yea im being carefull about it trying to clear it lightly but not working

  53. Tyler February 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    how long was it before you could talk normally again? i know you had double surgery but just wondering if you knew how long i would be able to talk normal again for lower jaw surgery?

  54. Graham February 22, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    I wasn’t able to talk clearly for about a month following surgery. After that, I was very lispy and I had to speak quite slowly, but I was able to carry on with life as usual.

    Since you only had lower jaw surgery and probably don’t have a splint in, you’ll be able to talk clearly sooner than I was.

  55. Tyler February 22, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    i have the splint in i think there putting elastics on tomorrow but also taking the stiches off my face

  56. Tyler February 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    Got the stiches off my face today and now the brace for my head is gone same with the ice :D not much bruising at all just need to shave sometime soon

  57. Jenny February 24, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    I want my stitches gone! I’m 17 days post op and I think I can safely say the stitches are the worst thing, and I’m sure they’re restricting my lip movement, which is not helpful when I need to change my elastics every night. I think they’re also irritating the gums a bit, I feel like I want to chew on my gums, though sadly it’s not physically possible, I can’t chew a sandwich, let alone the inside of my own mouth!

    I was lucky with the bruising too, it came and went within about four days. The bruise on my hand where the anaesthetic went in is still there though!

  58. Graham February 24, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    Ah, the stitches! Mine just dissolved away on their own, but I’m not sure if every surgeon uses the same type of stitching. It’s a good day when they’re finally gone and your lips can begin healing!

  59. Tyler February 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    he took them out on the outside inside are most likley the dissolved ones and my lips are fine not swollen at all and my bruising is good to i can hardly see it thinking about going to a movie tomorrow been inside too long

  60. Jenny February 25, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    Turns out the stitches are finally coming out! I was playing with my lip last night to see how much I could move it (as you do) and one came off on my finger, so I tried the rest of them on my lower lip and it’s now free of stitches! I haven’t been brave enough to try the upper lip yet though but I’m guessing surely they’ll come out too!

  61. Graham February 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    Make sure you don’t force them out too early or your lip might, ya’know, fall apart again. Your body is pretty adept at getting rid of these things when it’s ready.

    Enjoy your newfound freedom!

  62. Tyler February 26, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    i have no stiches on my lip just in my mouth

  63. Michelle February 26, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Hey Graham!

    I’ve been dropping by your blog since June of last year since I started the whole process with orthognathic surgery–you have no idea how much your daily posts have helped me become more comfortable and relaxed!!!

    I was just wondering what your (and anyone else’s) opinion is on weight loss prior to surgery. (I plan on talking to my doctor about it as well.) I’m of “average” weight, but in respect to my normal weight, I should be 20 pounds lighter. Do you think it’s okay to begin dieting/exercise in this month and a half before surgery or should I hold off?

  64. Tyler February 26, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    i would hold off liquid diet for 2 weeks its day 8 for me and my pants are getting to loose lol

  65. Graham February 27, 2011 at 12:18 am #

    Michelle, I’d hold off until after surgery. You’re going to want all the energy you can get for this surgery, and you’re going to lose weight from your liquid diet, just like Tyler said.

    On top of that, your body won’t be operating normally for about 3 months following surgery (by that, I mean you won’t be eating quite the same meals as before and your body will be using all of the calories you give it to heal).

    I’d stay where you are so that your body has those extra energy stores to repair itself following surgery. Then, once you’re feeling up to it, you can start your diet post operation.

    It’ll be interesting to see how much weight you cut immediately following your date with dental magic. I put on about 15 lbs prior to surgery and immediately lost 30 lbs following it, but my metabolism is unnaturally high.

    Let me know how it goes!

  66. Tyler February 27, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    so last night at tim hortons i fonnd a loop hole with soup and bread haha i swallowed th chicken and broke up the bread with in small peices and just swallowed :d lol

  67. Jenny February 27, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    Michelle, I agree. You don’t want to go depriving yourself of eating properly beforehand, it’s unbelieveable how much you miss eating when you can’t do it. As to weight loss, I’ve lost nearly a stone after my surgery, although I’m lucky in that I’m not on a liquid diet, basically as long as I can cut food up small I can just put it in my mouth and swallow. I really miss chewing though although I’m trying to do it lightly so as to build up strength. I’m day 20 post op and can’t wait for the day I can chew something properly again!

  68. Tyler February 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    Hey Jenny your only 10 days ahead of me im day 10 hear and so since your surgery you have been cutting up food and just swallowing it ? i did that last night with bread from tim hortons i didnt care lol i wasnt chewing so it was fine

  69. Jenny February 28, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Well, I’ve been doing it effectively since about day 3, in the hospital they gave me rice krispies to try for my breakfast but more ended up on me and the bed than in my mouth! I got better at it as time went on, sausages I found were best early on. I’m managing most things though, I even had cheese on toast last night!

  70. Tyler February 28, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    o wow im not there yet haha maybe in 10 days :d day 11 for me now called oral surgeon today to ask if i could have oatmeal and he said yes :D so then i can be full and finished my meds this morning so no more gross tasting

  71. Tyler March 1, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    Got Elastics today and splint out :D elastics are a bitch to put on and today found out ive lost 10 pounds in 12 days

  72. Graham March 1, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    The weight loss happens crazy fast, eh? You’ll get better with the elastics, too. My “elastic time” went from about 10 minutes to 10 seconds in a matter of a week. And then, soon enough, you won’t even need them. Awesome.

  73. Tyler March 2, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    This Morning took me 10 mins to put them on have to put them on 3 teeth alltogether would put on one hook then have to strech it and it would fall off i dont even want to take them off anymore but have to so i can eat haha yea weight loss happens fast i had some mac cheese for dinner last night only swallowed it though can still only have mushy foods

  74. Michelle March 2, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    Okay, thanks guys! Will definitely keep your advice in mind. The weight loss happens fast, but is it actual weight loss or more water weight?

  75. Michelle March 2, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    (And then you gain it back again)

  76. Graham March 3, 2011 at 6:37 am #

    It’s real weight because your body is burning calories at a much more rapid rate each day to facilitate healing.

    You’ll likely gain most of it back quite quickly once you’re able to return to your regular diet. Your body is pretty good at maintaining its natural weight so long as it’s not trying to recover from something (like, say, jaw surgery).

    If you’re keen on dieting, my advice is to begin your diet as soon as you can eat solid foods again. Mix that in with as much exercise, sleep and water as you can take in and it’ll make a pretty fantastic new beginning. :-)

  77. Tyler March 3, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    So far ive lost 12 pounds and with the elastics i got them on in less then ten mins pretty easy when you get use to it

  78. Jenny March 3, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    I’m getting much better with the elastics too. I had to change one at work today after it broke and got it first time. Sadly I’m beginning to gain a little bit of weight back, must put a stop to this so will be walking to work and back instead of taking the car!

  79. Tyler March 3, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    yea last night on the left side when i was sleeping the elastic broke didnt know until i woke up im wondering if i lost anymore weight so tomorrow im gonna buy a scale

  80. Tyler March 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    weighed myself today and im almost down 15 pounds

  81. Graham March 5, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    Sheesh, that’s quite a bit of weight you’ve lost already. It’s incredible how fast your body rids you of that weight when it’s healing.

  82. Tyler March 7, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    Yea i know hey i was 148 2 days ago now im about 145 almost 20 pounds down my sis bought me some protein powder but i dono if im gonna use it i dont want to gain all that weight back

  83. Jill H. March 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    Hi! Thanks for all the useful info. I’m 5 days in and I am nauseous CONSTANTLY!! I’ve quit taking any meds because I thought maybe they were the problem, but it only seems to get worse. Were you nauseous at all? I feel absolutely TERRIBLE! Sick to my stomach, weak as heck, and a massive headache! I have now puked…thank God. I’m dreading it if I do. oh and serious heartburn!!

  84. Graham March 8, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    Hi Jill,

    I was only nauseous for the day after surgery, but everyone reacts to medicine differently. I was thankful that I didn’t have to vomit or anything, especially while I was banded shut, but I understand it’s a fairly common occurrence.

    Perhaps you should try drinking some flattened ginger ale to settle your stomach. Beyond that, there’s really not a lot you can do except sleep it off and wait until your body has a bit more strength to handle the onslaught of medication.

    You’ll be much happier a week from now. Trust me. :-)

  85. Jill H. March 8, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    Thanks…one more thing…did you use heat? I’m still using ice because it feels so good…The Dr. said to switch to heat 3 days ago but I don’t see how it can possible feel better than the ice. Or help the swelling…

  86. Graham March 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    I followed the doctor’s orders and used heat as soon as I got home from the hospital. I figured I was going to be uncomfortable regardless, so I may as well do what they told me.

    The ice and heat are only meant to reduce swelling, relax your muscles and provide some temporary relief. I think the idea of using heat is that it will sooth the muscles in your jaw so that they won’t spasm as often.

  87. Tyler March 8, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    I myself didnt have any pain in my jaw i didnt have much brusing either swelling wasnt much either i only had my lower jaw done im 18 days so far gone by so quickly i just had headaches no jaw spasms either i used the ice pack for about a week didnt need the heat but i used it a couple days i did get light headed acouple times though

  88. Tyler March 15, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    this friday will be 30 days Since surgery and went to my appointment today and been told i can now chew and eat soft food :D

  89. kim March 15, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

    so happy I found this, my granddaughter age 15 whom I have since losing her mom 3 yrs ago, is having this in June. She was born with a full cleft palet. Hopefully this will help both of us. Having it @ Tx Childrens in Houston. God Bless you. Wondering if you think it would be helpful if I rented one one those suction machines for the blood the 1st few weeks?

  90. Graham March 15, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    Hi Kim,

    I just got back from Houstin! Seems like a warm, green place to live. :-)

    A suction tool would be nice for the first week, perhaps, but I’m not sure it’s necessary. As long as she’s rinsing several times daily with water, she should be alright. It’s really just an inconvenience for the first few weeks, so I suppose if you wanted to make her initial recovery a bit more comfortable, one of those tools would help.

    This must be exciting for her! I hope the surgery goes well in a few months!

  91. Michelle March 20, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    Surgery scheduled for April 20!

    Did anyone else need to have their blood taken for supply just in case of excess blood loss during surgery?

  92. Graham March 21, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    I had to undergo a blood test, but didn’t need to provide any for supply.

    Perhaps it’s a safety precaution they take if you have a rare blood type.

  93. Tyler March 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    I did they took like 4 viles of them

  94. Grace March 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    Hi Graham..

    When were you able to communicate by “talking”? I work at a bank and unfortunately have to talk alot. Do you think three weeks off will be good enough. I’m going to have a splint on for six weeks.

  95. Graham March 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    Hi Grace,

    If you have a splint in, I would give yourself a month away from work.

    You likely won’t be able to communicate at all for the first 2 weeks. Then, from 2-4 weeks post-op, you’ll be talking quite slowly and you’ll swell up depending on how much you speak each day.

    After a month, you’ll be able to get by, but your speech won’t be perfect.

    I say start with a month and see how you feel about speaking to customers following that. :-)

  96. Grace March 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    Thanks for the advise. What a reality check I’m so optimistic thinking I’m young, I’ll prep and be good in no time. Only time will tell..

  97. Bailey March 27, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    I had a double reconstructive jaw surgery back in August. Being 18 years old and having to go to my first day of my senior year only 13 days post-op was dreadful…

    I loved readying all of your posts. It brought back all of the good and bad memories of learning how to adjust. I was a little different than you since I had a splint wired to my teeth and braces and I was wired shut from my cheek bones to my bottom jaw.. incredibly uncomfortable. Wish I could have seen these while I was going through recovery!

  98. Graham March 27, 2011 at 10:48 pm #

    Bailey, attending your first day of senior year with a swollen face must have been really difficult! Mad props to you for getting through that!

    It sounds like that’s all behind you now and you’ve settled into living live with a brand new jaw (and, inherently, a new smile)! Your whole “being wired shut” scenario doesn’t sound pleasant at all.

    I hope you don’t have permanent numbness like I do!

  99. Saara March 31, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    Hi! Your blog is so informative- thanks for all the tips and experiences you’ve shared! I’m planning to have surgery on both lower and upper jaws in the coming months and I was wondering how long it took for you to get your speech back (clear speech!) and for the swelling to ease so you look somewhat like you did before? I’m a medical student and need to talk to a lot of patients so I really need to be able to communicate effectively!

  100. Tyler April 5, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Went to my Surgeon today 7 weeks post op and he said he likes the results so far and that i could end up getting my braces off in 6 months :D i can now eat pizza Mmmmm forgot how good it tasted :P

  101. Graham April 5, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    Hi Saara,

    I wasn’t comfortable speaking for about a solid month post-op. I went back to work after two weeks, but I’m a programmer so I’m not forced to talk very much at my job.

    I’d recommend giving yourself a month off just to be safe. If you can speak clearly before then, just go back to work earlier and they’ll love you for it!

  102. Graham April 5, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    Hey Tyler,

    Isn’t is exciting to hear that you’ll be getting your braces off soon?! I was ecstatic when my orthodontist shared that news with me!

  103. tyler April 5, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

    Yea but this wasnt my ortho this was my surgeon telling me this lol but my ortho could agree with him my bite is coming together well he said go back to him in 6 months not much swelling left and i didnt have any numbness

  104. abc April 9, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    Hi! How many months (or weeks) in advance were you told the date of your surgery?

  105. Graham April 9, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    abc, I was given a date for my surgery about 3 months beforehand. Hospitals up here are too busy to plan further ahead than that, unfortunately.

  106. Tyler April 9, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    They wanted to do mine a week before christmas i said no -.- so it was feb 18th

  107. abc April 10, 2011 at 7:05 am #

    Thanks for the reply, I’ve just started braces: have all the bottom ones one, and about 4 on the top with a roof brace, orthodontist wants to expand my upper palette first before she puts the rest of the top ones one. Although, my bite is the opposite of yours – I’ve got a severe overjet, and my front teeth are almost horizontal! (well, they feel like that).

  108. Graham April 10, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    abc, you’ll be amazed at what braces can pull off. They’re frustrating, but they do their job well.

    I was in braces for 2.5 years before I had surgery performed. Remember that these changes won’t happen overnight. :-)

  109. abc April 10, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    I agree they’re frustrating! But, I have to say I’ve not had too much pain or anything with them so far. My orthodontist has estimated 2 and a half years for me aswell, although they haven’t said when they think they’ll perform the surgery. I’ve also to get all my wisdom teeth out in about 6-9 months time, did you get yours out?

  110. David April 10, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    5 days since I had my surgery. Did anyone experience a lengthy spell of numbness? My lower lip, chin, half my tongue and half my top lip are still numb, and i’m slightly concerned.

    Would be good to get some reassurance…

  111. Tyler April 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    Pose to Happen but i didnt have any numbness at all

  112. Brande April 11, 2011 at 4:52 am #

    I quit smoking in November so I wouldn’t have that to contend with that post-op and I’m weaning off the caffeine, but I know that I have a serious addiction. I get headaches without it and jittery. I’m trying to taper off before I have my surgery (June). I was just wondering if you tried to drink anything with carbonation or caffeine in it and did you have any problems?

  113. Brande April 11, 2011 at 4:53 am #

    Thank you

  114. Mark April 11, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    Hey guys and Graham – I’m scheduled to have the lower jaw advancement on May 2. Getting a bit nervous – but has been a long time coming. By the sound of all of you, it doesn’t sound like it’s going to be a piece of cake but necessary to remedy my severe sleep apnea. My major fear is feeling a sense of panic when I wake up from surgery – not being able to breath. I haven’t even had my pre-op yet, so I’m not sure what to expect. Any suggestions?

  115. Graham April 12, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    abc, I had my wisdom teeth removed about 6 months before surgery as well. It was a painless procedure for me, but I’ve heard others have a different experience with it than I did.

  116. Graham April 12, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    Hi David. You’ll likely be numb for several months. I rediscovered most of the feeling in my lips and gums about 2 months into recovery.

    There’s a 30% chance that certain areas might remain numb forever. I have a numb section in my chin that will probably be a lifelong thing, but you adjust to it quickly and forget you’re even missing feeling.

    I wouldn’t worry about anything until at least 6 months have gone by. :-)

  117. Graham April 12, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Hi Brande. I’m not a smoker or a coffee drinker, so I can’t speak to the caffeine, but I certainly avoided carbonated beverages until my stitches were all gone.

    I would ask your surgeon when you can drink certain things again. You don’t want to get an infection right after surgery. That’d be an unwelcome ordeal.

  118. Graham April 12, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    Mark, my best advice is to not worry about the operation. I know that sounds extremely unhelpful, but this surgery is just something you have to deal with one day at a time.

    When you wake up from surgery, you’ll be pretty swollen and find it difficult to talk, eat, breathe and so on, but everything will be alright. You’ll have to live with severe discomfort for about 2 weeks, but things will look up after that.

    It’s definitely doable, but it takes a bit of positive thinking and perseverance to get through that initial phase. Find some good movies and make sure you get outside every single day and take in some fresh air!

  119. Mark April 13, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Thanks for the advice Graham – reading your blog has definitely helped to ease my mind. Do you have residual effects of the surgery at this point or is everything pretty much back to normal?

  120. Graham April 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    Everything is back to normal except for a small numb patch on my chin. I’m guessing that I’ll be numb there for life, but the benefits far outweigh that single, small consequence.

    You’ll be amazed at how quickly your jaw regains its strength and movement.

  121. Mark April 13, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    Thanks Graham! You are a trooper and I’m amazed at how positive you are and your sense of humor is fantastic! Are you completely happy with the results? Anything you wish were different?

  122. Graham April 14, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    I’m very happy with my results, yes! I have a few minor gaps in my teeth, but that’s just because a couple of my teeth are small. I can thank genetics for that. :-)

    I also have a slightly open bite on one side, but it’s already closing, so I don’t imagine it will be an issue a few years from now. Your teeth naturally keep growing out until they meet resistance (in the form of your other teeth).

  123. Dana April 17, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Hi,
    So it’s been 3 weeks since my surgery. I’ve been eating(or trying to eat) normal soft foods so my diets fine. The main thing I’m worried about is the swelling. My lips are no longer swollen but my cheeks , nose, and sides of the face are still swollen and makes me look really different. For those who didn’t get much done, like me, how long will it take to look like your normal self? This swelling just looks like I gained weight haha it makes me look really weird..Does it take really long for the swelling to go down completely?

  124. Tyler April 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    Im still sorda swollen after 2 months and i only had my lower jaw done

  125. Graham April 17, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    Hi Dana,

    My swelling stuck around for about two and a half months. I looked like I had a chubby face the entire time. Three weeks is still really early on, so swelling is completely normal for you right now.

    You’ll look different once the swelling is gone in a few months. :-)

  126. BrianD May 2, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    I can’t believe that as of 10 days or so ago…this blog is still going. I found it a welcome relief. I just had double jaw surgery 5 days ago and I wish I would have found this site beforehand. Bottom line for anyone reading this…the first 3-4 days are pure hell. Prepare for the absolute worst and if you get better results then great. You’ll be swollen, sore, can’t breathe, tired, frustrated, and have no appetite. I used plastic tubing on both sides of my mouth to help me breathe. Believe it or not it worked. Also, I got some Arm and Hammer Saline nose rinse…that stuff has been amazing for clearing the blood from my sinuses. That’s where a lot of the pressure comes from.

    Anyway…Thanks Graham for sharing…this site it great.

  127. Graham May 2, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    Thanks for the extra tips, Brian. The nose rinse sounds like a good investment. I remember that pressure being brutal.

    You’re almost a week in already. The two-week mark is a huge milestone, my friend.

  128. BrianD May 2, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    That is so good to hear…remember that you are doing a good work here. Don’t ever underestimate the hope and courage you give to people who are going through this. It’s not easy and seeing your blog and updates has really been a boost for me. I know it will all pay off it’s just the going through it that’s so rough. Thanks for your work and know that it makes a difference.

  129. Erin May 3, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    Hi Graham, this is a great site i’ve been reading it all morning.
    I have to go for open bite surgery at the beginning of August. its been along road so far with the orthodontist, started in grade three and im done first year of college now..still going for appointments haha. had braces for a long time to fix the open bite which didnt end up working at all, so i recently had invisalign to straighten my teeth again. he said since its an open bite my teeth are constantly shifting. couldnt have real braces because i have barely any roots left in my teeth. but i have to get braces on before surgery and not sure how long theyll be on afterwards. i bruise and swell really easy so im sure ill have a pumpkin face afterwards. from what i’ve read so far the tips for helping the healing process are to drink lots of water, ice the face, meds, and not to lie down all day because then your face stays swollen longer? ive been invited to a wedding that i really want to go to but its just over 3 weeks after surgery so im not sure if thats gonna work. anyways, sorry for such a long post just wanted to say reading all this helped even though i havent had the surgery yet! :)

  130. Erin May 3, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    he also said it would be 3 weeks liquid diet, but im a vegetarian so it shouldnt be too weird hopefully, and loosing weight would definitely be a bonus

  131. Graham May 3, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    Wow, sounds like you’ve had quite the dental adventure, Erin! None of this stuff is fun, is it?

    You’ll have to see how you feel when the wedding approaches. At 3 weeks, you might still have difficulty speaking and that sort of thing, but your surgery sounds different from my own, so it’s hard to say.

    Best of luck in August!

  132. scottie May 4, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    I had upper and lower jaw surgery on April 19,2011. Ive had a couple setbacks since surgery and just need a lil moral support from others who know what I’m going through. Had a reaction to anesthesia and ended up in ICU, fought the beginnings of pneumonia, got home for a couple days ,then; kept vomiting up anything I tried to eat(drink rather,lol). I was put in the hospital 5 more days for treatment of a restriction in my colon due to(according to the doctors) from stresses of surgery. So far an overnight stay in the hospital for jaw surgery has kept me in the hospital for ten days so far….geesh,lol…just my luck.

  133. Graham May 4, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    Wow, you’ve had a bumpy ride, Scott. Vomiting was one of my fears, but you’re living proof that you can get past it.

    I guess the positive side of this is that, despite all of your setbacks, your jaw is still healing, so you’ll probably recover at roughly the same rate. You just have a bit more excitement during these first few weeks.

    I hope everything starts taking a turn for the best for ya! Any ideas when you get to head back home? And are you drinking from a cup yet or are you still on syringes?

  134. Brande May 4, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    I really love your blog. I’m about 6 weeks until my surgery. I’m really nervous but all the info is helping to quash my fears. I work in law enforcement/detentions so my big concern is not being able to speak forcibly or yell when necessary. I plan on taking off 6 weeks from work, but reading the comments about not speaking clearly makes me still a bit nervous.

  135. scottie May 4, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

    Just came home today from hospital…I drink from a cup now and eat very soft foods such as mashed potatoes, pudding, etc….one difference is that for my surgery I never had my mouth wired or banded shut…i had all my teeth removed prior to surgery since they were in very bad condition. so, my next step after healing at least 10 weeks is to get molded for dentures. I am 39 yrs old. so, just because of my age, that may affect my recovery some…not to mention i was a very very heavy smoker before surgery. haven’t touched a cig since,lol….yay me.

  136. Brande May 4, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    Yes Scottie that is great you haven’t smoked! Keep up the hard work! I quit 5 months ago and go in for my surgery in 6 weeks.

  137. scottie May 4, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

    One of my nurses said something today that was funny at first, but it then kinda made sense. I’m sure its not true for everyone, but in general I see her point…..she said woman seem to adapt better to the surgery because they understand that there are baby steps involved in recovery and that when it comes to a man and the same surgery..well,..we want results right now,lmao. maybe she was just refering to me,lol. Ive had this underbite for many years, having the surgery, I have no doubt will change my life….a change in the way I can bite or chew, but mainly a change in the way I see myself when I look in the mirror or how I percieve how others see me..a change for the better I’m sure.

  138. Graham May 5, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    I know what you mean. We live in a world where we want instant gratification.

    Congratulations to both of you for quitting smoking. That’s a great habit to kick! Make sure you don’t fall back on it. Life is a lot cleaner when you’re free from the grasp of smoking (not to mention all the money you’ll save).

    Scottie, I bet you’re pretty pumped for your new smile coming up here!

    Brande, you’ll be able to speak after 6 weeks, but it won’t be perfect. I think you’ll be alright, though. :-D

  139. Iqra Asghar May 6, 2011 at 3:31 am #

    Hello im geting upper jw surgery next year to fix my open bite and i am SOOOO SCAREDDD :( I Mean ive had my tonsils taken out, ive been put to sleep to get my two back teeth taken out (which were BLACK AND HAD BIG HOLES IN THEM erghhh), ive had 3 fillings and 2 more teeth taken out. that me and the hospital, we go way back! But im so scared about this surgery….I no first few days gonna be hell and im so scared about not being able to breath properly…Ive never been able to breath through ma nose properly and always had to use my mouth so i hope my jaws wont be wired shut i think i will have to discuss that with my surgeon….anyways im really freaking out and scared and just need moral support please :( all my family have been supportive and said they will love me no matter what i look like lol but i just need some support from people who have been through this :( by the way i am staying in the hospital for 5 days…is that normal?! Thank u in advance

  140. scottie May 6, 2011 at 5:51 am #

    As for me, after I had the surgery done two weeks ago….I can breathe so much better now through my nose. Before surgery I just simply couldn’t get enough air in thru my nose and breathed thru my mouth 99.9%of the time. Now the nasal passage seems to be fine. The first few days after surgery I felt a little retricted just because of a lot of swelling I guess. But as each day passes, I can notice small changes in my face for the better.

  141. Iqra asghar May 6, 2011 at 6:48 am #

    Wow that’s great. so should i be getting scared About this operation? i have a year to go and i AM already losing sleep over this about how much pain and swelling i AM going to go through. i think i AM thinking worse than it will be and i can’t wait to get this over and done with. :-(

  142. Graham May 6, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    Iqra, you’ll be perfectly fine. The first few weeks are really just an inconvenience–they’re not life or death kind of days.

    You’ll definitely have difficulty eating, talking, sleeping and breathing, but you’ll still be able to, ya’know, survive. :-P Once your swelling begins to clear, breathing through your nose is a wonderful experience as well!

    When it comes to breathing, I had no issues at all. It was the least of my concerns. Just don’t freak out. If you think you’re having trouble getting enough air, just go outside, sit down, and breathe slowly for a few minutes.

    Best of luck, my friend!

  143. Iqra Asghar May 6, 2011 at 7:45 am #

    Thank U. Well i am have an open bite so i think I am only having upper jaw surgery as the surgeon said my operation will take 3 hours :s
    Yes I guess your right its not life or death…..but feels like it right now lol probably because i am thinking things in my head that could go wrong…Thanks for the blogs….youtube freaked me out big time…thank god your pictures didnt lol

  144. Iqra asghar May 6, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    Oh scottie well u were just like the way i AM now! I breath through ma mouth only :-( so how Did u manage to cope with breathing problems after the surgery?

  145. Iqra Asghar May 6, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    By the Way do U have any tips on how to get through the breathing problem? I heard upper jaw surgery causing a lot of breathing problem as the nose is stuffed….anything that can be bought to help with this situation? Or does the hospital provide you with things? My surgeon said that they usually use an oxygen mask when the patient is waking up from surgery

  146. Graham May 6, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    The nurses at the hospital will help you along during your stay, but once you’re home, you need to take care of yourself. You’re not allowed to blow your noses for several weeks, so that’s out of the question.

    The best thing you can do is to pickup the medicine they prescribe to you. They’ll likely give you a decongestant to help keep your sinuses as clear as possible.

    You’ll be fine. :-) I had no real issues with breathing after surgery.

  147. Iqra Asghar May 6, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Okay Ta!!! Well as my surgery date gets closer I will write more to u telling u about my freak outs and maybe ask for more tips…so in advance please dont get fed up of me…this is the only site ive found re-assuring…because I have been so freaked out last few days thinking I wont be able to breath after surgery and what not…but i guess that we all have similiar freak outs….
    Thanks in advance….By the way ur “before teeth” are way better than mine, most of your teeth kind of look like they are biting together so i don’t understand why your operation took so long :S anyways thanks once again!!

  148. scottie May 6, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    Iqra, as for my breathing after the operation….in the hospital they used an oxygen mask that had a saline solution added to it, so that the air I breathed was not just dry air. plus they gave me a nasal spray to use and trust me,it helps. A decongestant will also help. when I got home, I used Q-tips to help keep the yucky stuff out of my nose…but if you do, just use caution and not jam it up your nose,lol. Mainly, as each day passes, my breathing thru my nose gets better…..and to tell you the honest truth…even a couple hours after surgery with all my nose had gone thru in surgery,I could still breath better thru my nose after surgery, then before surgery. No matter what negative thoughts you have about the surgery or recovery…..the upside and the benefits of having the surgery will far outway any negative side.

  149. Iqra asghar May 6, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    scottie YOUR THE BEST! thankYOU for answering ma breathing question it is always great to know somebody who goes through the same thing your about to go through. can i know if you are from uk, england or somewhere else? yes your right today i was trying to eat with ma other teeth apart from ma back teeth was impossible. plus can i know how much pain you went through in the first couple days as i hate pain more than the swelling :-( thanks again

  150. scottie May 6, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    Each case is gonna be similar but yet different if that makes any sense…..my first few days I had very little pain, mainly because I was well medicated with pain medicine……I’m by my own choice having to feel a lil more pain than maybe some others because I have taken myself off of the pain meds, one reason being that it makes me sick(nausea). I’m very sensitive to pain meds…..but thats me and thats why I say each case is different…..what works for me may not work for you or vice versa. The main thing that works for everyone, no matter who you are—is to have a positive outlook on the whole ordeal. Oh, and I’m in the USA.

  151. Iqra asghar May 7, 2011 at 1:10 am #

    okay thanks i think just thinking about somebody cutting ma mouth open freaks me out and i really dont understand how everybody is so positive about this but i AM glad you are. my parents were like its entirely up to u and we will support u. first i was like I AM so brave if i can get ma teeth taken out and walk home with a bloody mouth and swollen cheek then i can do this too but as the time is getting nearer ma fears are just starting to increase :-(

  152. John Shepard May 8, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    I’m 36 hours from my double jaw surgery at The Ohio State University. Feeling a bit anxious and nervous. Any ‘older’ folks out there? I’m 46 years old.

  153. scottie May 8, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    Depends on what “older” is,lol. I’m soon to be 40 and had the double jaw surgery on April 19,2011. Had my surgery in Charlotte,NC.

  154. Iqra Asghar May 9, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    Good Luck! i got my jaw surgery next year i keep backing out but made my mind up i WILL go though with it becoz i can sense getin jaw pains now and in the future. Good luck

  155. Monica May 9, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    I had Upper/lower Jaw surgery April 19,2011 & i was unwired on 5/4/11. Simple liquid diet, tried some grinded food, but made to hard to eat. I was in hospital for 2 day’s, when i came home that saturday my face got more swollen. All my stiching was done in my inside of my mouth and i had slight brusing, thats because i iced my face alot, now i use heat(microwave) towels about 3 times a day and message my face, but i still get a tingle sensation in my chin area and my right side is still hard and puffy, i have no feeling in my lips and since i still have a splint on, my eating is still soft foods, but hard to eat with a utencil so i use my fingers. I exercise my mouth. My only thing i would like to know is how long will this numb/tingling take.

  156. Graham May 10, 2011 at 6:22 am #

    Monica, you sound like you’re in a very similar place as I was at three weeks post-op.

    The numbness and tingling will hang around for at least another month to month and a half. It’ll dissipate in a very gradual fashion.

    Your recovery seems to be proceeding as expected though, so you have nothing to worry about. =)

  157. Lewis May 10, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    Hi. Im due to have my double jaw surgery on the 1st of june in chelmsford England. I was and am still a little anxious. However I am sooooo relieved that so many people are having or have had simular fears. Thanks to Graham and everybody else I have a huge shopping list for recovery aids. (Tech spec) I have mandibular excess of 15 mm (advised average is 8mm) and a cross bite to add to my troubles. Really hope i am as happy as all of you when its all done. Just 1 question how long on average would you say full reovery is?.
    Thanks Lewis

  158. Iqra Asghar May 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    omg lewis i am also gonna have my jaw surgery in chelmsford next year let me know how it goes hope it goes okay

  159. Graham May 10, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    Hi Lewis,

    Your bone will be all healed up at 3 months post-op. You’ll be completely back to normal at about 6-9 months post-op. By “back to normal,” I mean you’ll be eating anything you want, most of your numbness will be gone and you’ll more or less be in the same place as you were before surgery (except your bite will actually work, yay!).

  160. scottie May 10, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    Went back to my surgeon for my 3 week checkup for my double jaw surgery on April 19th. He said things were healing as they should. I still have a lot of swelling in my cheeks and the cheek muscles are hard as stone still. Docs advice me to keep exercising my mouth by puckering and smiling to help get cheek muscles back to working order. It’s amazing at how much this surgery has changed me for the better, looks, breathing and eating ability. I still cannot chew or bite at the moment, but I can tell my jaw muscles are getting stronger as time goes by. I tear of food and swallow it the best I can for now. Had to get away from the liquid diet,lol…I’ve lost 30+ lbs already. I’m just very anxious to see the final outcome of my healing. For those of you that are gonna have the surgery or thinking about the surgery….please have it done, you will be amazed at the outcome.

  161. Crystal May 10, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    I’m reading through this blog and I’m definitely excited for everyone. It’s a pretty extreme process and it’s nice to find people who understand… I’m sure this blog is going to help me when the time comes. I believe my surgery date is set for August or September this year, but I’m really anxious and extremely nervous. I think about it constantly! Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences and thank you Graham for opening up this forum that has apparently eased a lot of people. I’m less nervous and more prepared. I will have a good amount of shopping to do before then. Thank you guys!

  162. Graham May 11, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    Scottie, you lost over 30 lbs?! That’s nuts! You’re the first person I’ve heard from who’s lost that much weight!

  163. Graham May 11, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    Let us know how you’re doing as your date with the dentist approaches, Crystal!

  164. Gordon May 11, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    Graham I was wondering if you can drop some advice for me.

    I’m having a lot of difficulty breathing. I had double jaw surgery and work on my nose/chin done in addition. I just got back home from the hospital.

    Essentially my nose is definitely very stuffed. I was wondering if there was a way to get some relief. After the first day my oral surgeon had to come and suck out my sinus cavities because it was bothering me so much.

    Also, how can I get that excess bit of water out of my mouth since I don’t have a suction? Hanging my head over the sink doesn’t get all of it, and when it’s still there it makes mouth breathing a bit more difficult.

    Any suggestions are appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Gordon

  165. Graham May 11, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    Hey Gordon,

    I had difficulty breathing for the first couple of weeks as well. It’s stressful and claustrophobic, but it’s certainly not hurting anyone. It’s must of a frustration than anything else.

    I took Dimetapp (a decongestant) to clear out my sinuses as best I could. I also used Ipratropium (nasal spray) to try and alleviate some of the blockage in my nose. Both of these meds were prescribed by my surgeon immediately following the surgery.

    As for that extra bit of liquid in your mouth, unless you buy/rent some suction system of your own (which I don’t think is a worthwhile use of funds), you just have to deal with it until you can spit properly. You’ll probably be able to control your lips enough to gurgle and spit by the two-week mark. I just hung my head over the sink for ~5 minutes and let everything drool out of my mouth for the first few weeks (as disgusting and primitive as that sounds).

    In conclusion, there’s not a lot you can do. Take your medicine, for sure, but beyond that, you just have to make it through the first two weeks and then everything will start getting better really quickly! :-)

    Best of luck!

  166. scottie May 11, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    My loss of 30 lbs is associated with my surgery and then I had a week of not being able to keep anything in my stomach due to a colon restriction. Was treated with a lot of antibiotics and have since been eating everything that I can tear off in pieces and swallow,lol. I went from 190+ lbs to 162 lbs in less than 3 weeks. But, I would do it all over again. I believe 100% in having the surgery. The final result I will end up with I’m sure is well worth any minor struggles that I incur.

  167. Umar Sabeel May 11, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    Hi peeps, thought I might aswell share my experince i had lower jaw surgery done on the 26th April and have to admit it looks like I have been one of the luckier ones as I stayed in hosp for 1night and most of my swelling seems to have gone and i can eat soft foods and drink wivout any probs but my mouth does tend 2get sore but apart from im recovering better than expected… Love the NHS 

  168. Graham May 11, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    Umar, you’re a lucky person! Enjoy those soft foods!

  169. Brande May 12, 2011 at 12:13 am #

    Okay, I’m worried. I’m having my upper jaw done in July. My surgeon said I won’t stay overnight. I go into the hospital at 6 in the morning and should be released by 5 pm that same night. Has anyone else been discharged like that?

  170. Gracey May 12, 2011 at 3:31 am #

    This is so helpful! When I was reading I kept thinking omg that happens to me! Its great your here on a daily I’m 5 days post open and miss food so much :(

  171. Azita May 12, 2011 at 4:28 am #

    Thank you so much for this website , Graham. I can’t even begin to express to you how helpful it has been to me!!

    I am now almost 8 days post op. I had my mouth banded shut until yesterday where I now have 5 rubberbands in my mouth. I am able to take them out to eat. Did you have trouble taking them out and putting them back in in the beginning? I find this very difficult. Also hard for me to fully open my mouth to put the bands in since my lips are still swollen with my left side being more. I did try to eat some soup and yogurt with the bands off but it was impossible to actually get it down my throat cause it would just stay on my tongue. Should I be trying to eat something else?

    I’m trying my best to stay positive and approach everything with a good attitude but it’s definitely hard sometimes. My face will feel locked up in tingling/pain every 6 hours or so once my pain meds wear off. I am also unlucky because I do not have the luxury of taking 2 weeks to a month off of life to recover. I will be starting nursing school next Monday and I am so scared as to how my recovery is going to affect my ability to succeed in the first month. I will have clinicals in a lab starting the first day! I am just rightfully nervous that my surgery will interfere with my studies :(

    I still can’t talk very well with rubberbands. I’m going to sound so goofy at school! I’m wishing for a speedy recovery these next few days so I can be okay once school starts.

    I have only lost maybe 5-7 lbs, but I am pretty small to begin with so it’s hard for me to lose weight. For my liquid diet I have been eating chicken broth, ensure, and baby food thru a syringe. Surprisingly, baby food is pretty tasty and there is quite the variety!

    Oops, I typed up a lot — thanks to my lack of sleep. I go to bed at 10 and wake up approx 3 hours later, take medication, go back to sleep and wake up 2 hours later. That’s usually it for me for the night. So much fun!

  172. Graham May 12, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    Brande, I haven’t heard of anyone who hasn’t stayed overnight yet, but perhaps your surgery won’t be as bad since you’re only having one jaw operated on.

    We could have all survived with no hospital stay–it’s just a nicer way to start the recovery. Make absolutely sure you have someone to take care of you for the first 2 days if you’re heading straight home after surgery though. And make sure you have some Ensure or Boost and a few syringes ready for eating.

  173. Graham May 12, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    Gracey, you’ll appreciate food so much more when you get to take your first bite all over again!

  174. Graham May 12, 2011 at 8:14 am #

    Azita, you’ll just have to be the strong, silent type for your first few weeks at school, hehe.

    I was so slow when I first started taking my elastics out. It took me about a week before I mastered that trick, but you’ll become a pro soon enough.

    Only eat what you’re able to swallow right now. You don’t want to end up choking (or become overly frustrated, that’s no fun either). Once your swelling goes down a bit more, you’ll be able to swallow food with no problem so you can start blending anything you like (soups blend well).

    I love that you’re eating baby food as well. That’s awesome, haha!

  175. Mike lilly May 12, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    I recently had double jaw surgery to correct severe obstructive sleep apnea. I am in week 4 of recovery and progressing well. One of the best things I have found for oral hygiene is a water pick. I got it for 60 bucks at walmart. It works REALLY well at cleaning hard to get places like behind the splint. Hope this helps.

  176. Tara May 12, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Thank you EVERYONE!!! I have read ALL of your comments, they are indeed wonderful and a big round of applause for Graham keeping this blog alive!!

    I will be having lower jaw surgery in the upcoming months (hoping July) to correct an overbite. I’ve been told I will be wired shut for 6 weeks and will be tube fed (I’m not sure if that will be the entire time).

    I’ve read other folks who have been wired shut, but not for this duration and I haven’t seen anyone who hs been on a tube. Has anyone else experience this?

    I’m just trying to understand/prepare for what’s to come. Thanks in advance!

  177. Graham May 12, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

    Hi Tara! What does your surgeon mean by “tube fed”? I had to eat with syringes for the first 2 weeks, so I feel like that’s fairly close.

    Hopefully you’re allowed to be a bit more civilized than they’re setting you up to be! Although time will still fly by and you’ll be happy you went through with it. :-)

  178. Gracey May 13, 2011 at 2:32 am #

    The first checkup you had with your Dr after surgery what was it about? Did they change your bands it clean inside your mouth?
    Etc would love to know thank you!

  179. Tara May 13, 2011 at 5:21 am #

    It was my understanding that the tube would have been in my abdomen, but I expect a call back for my appointment time with the surgeon to confirm my readiness for surgery. I will confirm the details with him at that time (I’ll let you know), thanks!

  180. Graham May 13, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Gracey, they removed my bands for a few minutes so I could brush my teeth. I was really slow, but it felt amazing!

    Then they replaced the bands and just made sure I wasn’t experiencing any chronic pain. Simple but necessary.

  181. Gracey May 13, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    Omg..perfect that’s all I needed to know I have an app Tue but not sure I can wait that long I wanna spit so bad its soo so gross in there :(

  182. jose May 16, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    hi graham i had bottom jaw surgery almost two weeks ago and my bottom lips left cheek and my whole chin was numbb like 3 days ago my cheeck started feeling normal again but my chin and lips havent yet they just get these wierd tingeling feelings what does that mean ? anybody could tell me ?

  183. Gracey May 17, 2011 at 2:36 am #

    Heyim curious when you were able to open your mouth again and were eating more what were some of the foods you could chew and what do you recommended?(:

    And @ Jose the tingly feeling is just your nerves waking up again if you will. You’ll be feeling that for a while since it was lower jaw that area takes longer to get feeling back, so give it time the more tingling the better. Hope it helped.

  184. Graham May 17, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    Jose, you’ll experience that tingling for a few months, so it’s nothing to be worried about. You’ll also be numb for 2-3 months minimum.

  185. Graham May 17, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Gracey, I wasn’t able to open my mouth and start eating solid(ish) foods until about the 8-week mark, but most people luck out and begin chewing a lot sooner than that.

    I started with soups of all kinds and then moved into pasta and mashed potatoes.

  186. Gracey May 17, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    8wks huh hmm well I suppose I can survive off chunky soups I think it’ll be better than the water down ones ugh. I just can’twait till I’m not banded shut anymore. Bit on the bright side my swelling has gone down so much and can make the spit face again horray baby steps!

  187. Graham May 17, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    You’ll probably be eating sooner than 8 weeks from now. I was slower at the recovery game than anyone else I’ve spoke to.

    You really just need to ask your surgeon what they think. After all, they know your case better than I do! =)

  188. jose May 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    Thanks Graham, and thank you to Grace. I feel relaxed now about the situation ;]

  189. Gracey May 19, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    Eek help!! My bands ripped I replaced them but not sure if on the right tooth is this going to affect anything while I wait to me my surgeon? Hope u can help asap<3

  190. Graham May 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    My bands snapped constantly the entire time I had them. Just try to get them back on where you think they should go. Call your surgeon if you’re not sure which teeth they were on.

    You’ll be fine for a few days though. There’s nothing to worry about if they snap randomly. =)

  191. Gracey May 19, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    Omgsh *breathes* THANKYOU so much, really appreciate it(: I was hella freakin out lol. I’m happy to say I can drink from a cup now, messy! But I get it down and I’m only 13 days in^_^

  192. Andy May 22, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    As everyone else has said this is a great blog!

    Had my lower jaw done 5 days ago. I play semi professional ice hockey so was wondering in terms of recovery time what you think I will be looking at.

    All in all it has been ok so far. The first two were pretty nasty, while I was still bleeding (Had wisdom teeth out as well), but been taking it in bite size chunks. I’m just hoping that I like what I am going to look like when the swelling has all gone. (Kind of liked how I looked before, had a 8mm overbite but a pronounced chin meant you couldn’t easily tell)

  193. Dawn May 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    Hi Graham! Great blog, it’s actually helping me throughout my recovery.

    As of tomorrow, I will be on week 3 of my recovery. I underwent a double-jaw surgery as well. Not much complaints from me, I’ve been pretty positive throughout this whole ordeal, BUT there is one issue that’s bugging me.

    I saw in one of your posts that you developed a rash around your nose and lips? I’m currently going through that and it’s just really gross and I’m just wondering what you did. It is mostly the parts of my face that are numb that are peeling and greasy and such no matter how many times I wash it or put moisturizer on it.

    Anyways, I’m glad to hear that you’re all better. It actually makes me feel a lot better!

  194. Graham May 22, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    Hi Andy. I guess that important thing is that you don’t want to impact your jaw for at least 3 months because that’s when the actual bone itself will be fused back together just as solid as it was before the operation.

    If I was playing hockey, I would shy away from it for 2 months (and then be extremely careful for a month), but make sure to run it by your surgeon and see what they say!

  195. Graham May 22, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    Hey Dawn. That rash was so annoying! I just put lip chap on my lips and unscented lotion on the rash and waited for it to go away. It won’t last too much longer, so you’ll be good to go soon!

  196. Andy May 23, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    Ok cool, I have had it in the off season over here anyway so don’t start games until September and will probably do pre season conditioning with a jaw shield on.

    From what you have said the swelling takes a while to come down. I am currently in my Simpson/Quagmire phase due to the brusing etc, what can expect to come. Will the neck/chest bruising leave and the chin/jaw swelling gradually go down over a longer period of time?

  197. readyforachange May 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    glad i found this. had first surgery march 10th, for broken jaw. I am also a bad grinder. They inserted a plate. About six weeks later, they x-rayed, and i had a screw that came out, they reopened, and removed screw. couple weeks later, i could “feel” another screw came out. they set up a date for a week later, which was last week on may 19th, took out the plate, which i had grinded into an awful shape, and put lots of wires in, and this time wired me shut. am trying to stay positive, focused, but is hard. my husband broke my jaw, and I filed dissolution papers, he will be served this week. i need to be strong mentally right now, and being physically weak doesn’t help much.

  198. readyforachange May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    thanks for creating this blog, btw.

  199. Graham May 25, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    Andy, I didn’t have any bruising, so I’m not too sure on that one.

    Swelling should be mostly gone by the 3-month mark, but it will stick around in small doses for another month or so past that.

  200. Graham May 25, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    Hi readyforachange,

    Sounds like you’ve had a rough ride. I hope the surgery solves the problems you’ve been having and that you can take on a new life with a new smile soon!

    Best of luck with your recovery and with your personal situation. That’s no fun at all. This is something that can heal up though, and I have faith you can move on and make the best of this.

  201. Dawn May 26, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    Hi again! So 2 and a half weeks in and I had a check up yesterday and my surgeon gave me the go to start eating soft foods. I was obviously very happy about this. So I tried eating KD but that was an epic fail :( It kind of got lost inside my mouth and it was just so frustrating! Any tips on what are good to eat right now?

    PS. Thanks for the advice on the unscented lotion! The rash is almost all gone :)

  202. Graham May 26, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

    I remember getting all excited when I was first allowed to eat soft foods again, but I failed at it just like you.

    Start with things like chicken noodle soup. You won’t be eating actual solid food for another week or two yet. Practice chewing and take your time and you’ll be back into things like pasta in no time at all!

  203. alyssa May 27, 2011 at 7:20 am #

    Hi Graham…love your blog. I’ve been feeling kind of blah the last couple of days and reading your twist on everything has definetly helped me smile a bit. I had double jaw surgery and genioplasty 10 days ago. My biggest complaint right now is the tightening and pulling of my cheek muscles. Did you have this and did you find anything that helps it go away?

  204. Graham May 27, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    Ah, the tight muscles are so frustrating! The spasms are a little painful as well.

    I found the only thing that helped in this area was to use heat packs on my face as often as possible throughout the day (and definitely every night when you sleep).

    The tight muscles will go away by about the second month and then you’ll be in good shape!

  205. Azita May 29, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    Hi Graham =)

    Thanks for the advice you gave me a few weeks ago. I am now almost at my 4th week of recovery! It is bittersweet. It is sweet in knowing the hard part is finally over! The first 2 weeks were so miserable – even with a (mostly) positive attitude! However, I still am far from where I would like to be.

    I was wondering if you had come across anyone who underwent jaw surgery and had problems with their lips afterwards? I have tried googling it, but to no avail. Ever since I had my surgery, my lips have not been able to touch. I can scrunch them together, but obviously that doesn’t look natural/normal. My surgeon said he would give it time to heal, but I might need to have ANOTHER surgery to loosen the tissue on my lips – or something like that. It makes me sad because I really don’t want to go through that process again! :S

  206. Patty May 29, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    I love the blog here. I was looking for when I can feel my face again. I am 11 days after double jaw surgery. I crave meat sandwiches! Is it OK to use a straw now? I got dehydrated because it took to long to drink with the syringe. Now I get a lot more liquid in me.

  207. Graham May 29, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    Hi again Azita!

    I wouldn’t worry until your swelling goes down a bit more. Give it another month or so before you give any time to this matter. Once you have a bit more movement, you might find the tissue breaks apart by itself.

    Best of luck!

  208. Graham May 29, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    Howdy Patty,

    Feeling will take a few months to come back (and it returns gradually), so be patient with it.

    You can use a straw as soon as you’re able. It took me about 3 weeks before I could actually form suction around a straw, but everyone else has been able to use one long before me.

  209. sdority84 May 30, 2011 at 3:48 am #

    John Shepard. I noticed your blog several days ago and am curious as to how you are doing. I am 45 years old and will be going in for my surgery in just two short weeks. Have you found your recovery to be slower due to being older? Worried about a slower recovery keeping me out of work… How are you doing.

  210. sdority84 May 30, 2011 at 3:50 am #

    Graham. Thanks for the great site. Reading all the helpful advice and experiences has been great. Trying to prepare myself for the best experience I can make this. Thank you!

  211. Telly June 3, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    Im 19 years old and I had upper and lower jaw surgery may 26, 2011. My whole mouth is banded shut and I am on an all liquid diet for 4 weeks. My doctor instructed me that I couldnt blow my nose so all the mucus that accumulates from my nose just slides down the back of my throat and sometimes into my mouth. Once its in my mouth I cant swallow or spit it out since my whole jaw is banded. I feel really disgusting and I dont know what to do =/

  212. Graham June 3, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    Hi there Telly!

    That’s definitely one of the worst parts of the first couple of months of this recovery. Be sure you don’t blow you nose though, because it’s possible you’ll break the blood clots and that will be a lot worse than a little bit of mucus floating around.

    Your mouth will be pretty stagnant for the first few weeks (until you can drink from a cup). At that point you can begin drinking enough water to wash everything down. Soon after that, you’ll be able to swish water around and regain the ability to spit (which will be a glorious day, trust me!).

    Just hang in there!

  213. Telly June 4, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    thankz =)

  214. Patty June 5, 2011 at 6:55 am #

    17 days after and the tingling in my face is driving me nuts as well as my teeth hurting. I can’t open my mouth very far without being in pain, how do they fix that?

  215. Becky June 5, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    Hi just wanted to thank you for a great website have been following it for about 6 months now I am today on day 4 of recovery (top jaw surgery) swollen,sore and a very blood filled nose but a least I’m not banded or wired so I can eat soft foods thanks again you made a difference x

  216. Graham June 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    Patty, you won’t be able to open your mouth really wide for a good 2 – 3 months. The muscles around your jaw and cheeks have tightened up and it’ll take a few months to stretch them back to a usable state.

    Not being able to open your mouth at 17 days post op is completely normal.

  217. Graham June 5, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    Hi Becky. You’re so lucky that you could eat soft foods right from the get go! One of the perks of upper-only jaw surgery, I suppose.

  218. Patty June 5, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    my teeth hurt, it feels like they are moving around. Is that something that happens? When I swallow one tooth in particular hurts and feels like it moves if I swallow wrong.

  219. Graham June 5, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    Patty, you’ll have to discuss tooth pain with your surgeon or orthodontist, but I know some of my teeth felt a bit loose initially. They’re all strong now, though.

  220. Genevieve June 6, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    Hi Graham,
    My good friend is getting double-jaw surgery next week and she is very nervous about the procedure and especially the recovery. From your experience, what are some things I can do to make her recovery more bearable?
    Thanks for this blog by the way, it’s very reassuring to hear the different experiences everyone has with this surgery.

  221. Graham June 6, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    Hi Genevieve,

    This page is a pretty good summary of the most important steps to take to make their recovery more enjoyable.

    The 2 pieces of advice I can give are:

    1) Be sure they drink as much water as they can, even if it’s via syringe. Try for 1L/day at first (but more is better).

    2) Take them out for a walk once or twice per day. Fresh air and seeing people walking their pets will do wonders to one’s attitude. :-)

    Best of luck!

  222. scottie June 6, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    This is to just update you guys on my progress. On April 19,2011 I had double jaw surgery. I am slowly getting the feeling back in my face. I would say I have about 75% of the feeling back. To begin with I was numb from my eyelids to my chin. The roof of my mouth is still completely numb. No feeling what so ever has came back to it yet. I have no pain anywhere. The tightness of the cheek muscles are starting to relax and somewhat head back to normal. I do have a lot more swelling and tightness on my left cheek area. My case is slightly different in that I had all my teeth removed prior to surgery. My next step is to heal a few more weeks and then get fitted for dentures. I’m soon to be 40 yrs old and for the first time in my life, I’m going to have a great smile. One that I’m proud of and not ashamed to show my smile every chance I get. The recovery is slow, but the outcome is a truly wonderful thing. I wish everyone who goes through this a speedy and great recovery with an outcome that greatly exceeds your expectations.

  223. Graham June 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    Scottie, it’s good to hear that your feeling is returning. That always makes you feel a bit more positive about the entire operation.

    Your smile is going to be great. You’ll have to make up for 40 years of lost smiling. Make it count!

  224. Tamara June 19, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    I had both upper-lower jaw surgery on May 24. So, I am on the fourth week of recovery and just started soft foods, which is great. I just read the entire blog and it’s absolutely wonderful what you are doing, Graham. One question nobody asked though is about speach. I still can’t talk properly and for a long time. Any advice there? How long did it take to speak properly and is there anything I can do to speed up the speach recovery?

    Thanks a lot, Tamara

  225. Graham June 20, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    ‘allo Tamara!

    That’s great that you just got back on the soft foods kick. It’s nice to take in some new flavors after a month in the drought of Ensure, isn’t it?

    I’m trying to remember how long it took me to be able to speak decently (and clearly) following surgery. I know that I went back to work at the two week mark and could barely say anything at all. By one month, I was able to convey simple information, but still couldn’t hold my own in a conversation. I believe it was at around six weeks that I commenced having legitimate conversations once again.

    So I’d give yourself a couple more weeks of a grace period. Now that you’re eating soft foods again, the muscles in your face will begin to rebuild fairly quickly, so speech should follow suit.

    All the best!

  226. Brande June 20, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    I have my surgery date! So excited, but nervous too. July 11th, filled out my paperwork to be off from work. I’m taking 6 weeks, my doctor said I could go back in 2 weeks if I’m feeling up to it. I work with unsavory characters in confinement so I am opting to take more time off, has anyone else had their Dr. tell them they could go back to work after 2 weeks?

  227. Graham June 20, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    I returned to work after 2 weeks, but I was unable to speak. If you’re required to actually talk at your job, you’ll probably want to shy away for at least a month.

    Good luck with the surgery, Brande!

  228. Kevin G June 26, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    This is an awesome blog! I’m scheduling my surgery date tomorrow and am so thankful for websites like these to prepare me for this experience! I’ve had braces for a little less than a year and am so excited to have a surgery I’ve waited my entire life for. Thank you all for the information and I will be sure to keep everyone updated/help out any future people who come to this site!

  229. Graham June 27, 2011 at 12:42 am #

    How far in the future is your surgery going to be, Kevin? The sooner the better, in my opinion!

  230. Amy-Lynn June 27, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    I was wondering when you have been talking about upper and lower jaw surgery do you mean the joint. I am scheduled for bi-lateral TMJ surgery on July 19th. I love the blog but I am not sure if this information applies to me.

  231. Graham June 27, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    Hi Amy-Lynn,

    I have bone removed from my lower jaw (1 piece on each side). I also had my upper palette widened. On top of that, they moved my lower back back a few millimeters (by breaking the joint) and moved my upper jaw forward by a similar degree.

    I’m not sure how directly that applies to bi-lateral TMJ surgery, but I imagine the first few weeks of recovery will be fairly similar.

  232. Kevin G June 27, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    Hey Graham,
    Just set the date today. July 27th. Feels A LOT different knowing there’s an actual date/day planned for this to take place!

  233. Graham June 27, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    That’s so soon! Enjoy your meals for the next month! Let us know how recovery treats you. =)

  234. angelika morrison June 30, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

    How long did any of you stay in the hospital for double jaw surgery ( anxious mother)

  235. Graham July 1, 2011 at 7:52 am #

    I was in the hospital for 2 nights, Angelika. Following that, I spend 2 weeks at my parent’s house just so I wouldn’t be alone. Having your family around during those initial couple of weeks makes a huge difference.

  236. Patty July 3, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    I got the OK to chew and started a couple of days early. I noticed I have been biting my lower lip and it now has sores. I also don’t seem to be able to chew, it’s like it’s not a normal thing to do. I have been making myself chew and keeping my mouth open so not to bite my lip. Any tips on not biting your lip and will chewing ever become a normal thing again?

  237. Patty July 3, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    when will I feel my lip and chin again?

  238. Bailey July 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    I’m 25 years old and I am having the exact surgery you had on July 7th. I am very nervous but reading your blog has really helped with that. Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to do this after your surgery!

  239. Graham July 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    Patty, the only advice I have regarding chewing is to take it slow. I bit my lips and cheeks more during my first week of chewing again than I did during the first 24 years of my life (possible hyperbole).

    Amazingly enough, chewing isn’t natural. It has to be learned, and in your case, relearned. Just take your time and don’t rush through meals.

    You’ll be back in business within a week or two of practice. =)

  240. Graham July 3, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    Hi Bailey! Thank you for the thank you, haha! Good luck in a few days!

  241. Dorothy July 4, 2011 at 5:05 am #

    My son had this surgery last Wednesday so it is day 5. Anyone planning on having the surgery, don’t be afraid! He was terrified and it turned out being much better than he thought! Pain got markedly better after day 3, but even at the worst point, not unbearable.

  242. Jen July 5, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    Hey all, I’m 6 days post op from lower jaw surgery and genio and the first 4 days were absolute hell for me (but only because I have anxiety) and my surgeon had to actually remove most of my bands to get my blood pressure down lol. The splint sucks but the two loose bands are nice and I don’t feel like my life is over anymore. However, my throat is giving me tons of grief, lots of pain and almost feels like I’m gagging on my uvula…anyone else experience this?

  243. Graham July 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    Hi Jen,

    I definitely experienced the minor gagging reflex for the first week or two. It’s an interesting thing, because you know you’re not actually choking, but your body still wants to act like it is.

    There’s not a lot you can do aside from just waiting it out. I promise you’ll be in much better shape in another week!

  244. Jen July 6, 2011 at 12:14 am #

    Thanks Graham! You’re awesome :)

  245. Shane July 6, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    Graham, I found this blog a few days before my upper jaw surgery. Besides moving my jaw forward and over slightly, my surgeon cut mine in three pieces to expand it. Like you I have a splint in my mouth, but I only had 2 bands to start (both of which had broken by day 3). I stopped taking the prescription pain meds at day 3 because I didn’t like the way I felt while on them. I’ve managed the pain with ibuprofen. Like you I’ve been on liquids only, but I gave up the syringe thing at around day 6. I’ve just finished day 14 and only lost 6lbs. My point is I seem to have had it easier than you, yet you created this blog while going through it. I’ve read the whole thing and I’ll keep referring back to it as I complete my own journey, because I feel like I’ve gotten to know and trust you.
    You’ve provided us with some great information. You’ve helped allay a lot of fears and worries. Despite the fact that it’s been over a year since your surgery, you are still answering reader questions, providing support, and encouraging those who need it. You continue to amaze me. I feel confident that I can speak for all of us in saying thank you for being you.

  246. Graham July 7, 2011 at 6:46 am #

    Hi Shane,

    You may be enjoying an easier recovery due to only having one jaw worked on, but the upper jaw is the one that causes most of this trouble (ie. wearing a splint, eating through a syringe, etc.), so you may very well be a lot tougher than I am. ;-)

    Thanks so much for all of your kind words. I enjoy meeting everyone on here and helping people understand that this is only a temporary “readjustment” to their lifestyle. I’ll continue to be here for the niche crowd that comprises jaw heroes!

  247. Emily July 11, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    I had my jaw surgery last Thursday. I am so mad at the world right now. I want solid food, and my parents have been feeding me nothing but baby food, and it’s awful. I hate feeling numb, and I just want to be able to feel my face again. I’m swollen, and I was wondering when that will go down. I’ve heard 10 days to 6 weeks. I will not be able to survive another 6 weeks of this. I just want to feel normal and do things again. When will I stop feeling dizzy every time I get up. And why has my appetite changed so suddenly? Please Help

  248. Emily July 11, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    I just really want to know when the majority of the swelling goes down, and when do I start feeling a little more normal. And I mean like I sleep through the whole night, I stop drooling up blood all day (sorry about that mental image) and I cant start doing things by myself again. What are the worst days? And does it really get better each day?

  249. Joel July 11, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    Hi Emily. I’m on day 13 of my own double jaw surgery and I feel your pain. I was in quite a funk during the first week and was really angry at myself for going ahead with the surgery (but not anymore).

    I can’t say it gets better everyday BUT the first week was the worst and since then, it has been far, far better for me. My swelling has gone down, say about 50%. It may be different for you, but hang in there! The worst will be over soon!

    And to Graham: thanks so much for writing this blog. You were my greatest source of entertainment (and some inspiration) during my horrible first week.

  250. Graham July 11, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    Emily, you don’t sound very happy right now! That’s understandable–the first week is pretty brutal.

    The first few days are definitely the worst. Everything starts looking up from about Day 5 onward. It happens slowly though, so it can be quite frustrating.

    You’ll be fairly swollen for a month or so (from my experience).

    My only advice is to stay strong until the end of the first two weeks. Life will become a lot better after that and your spirits will rise again. :-)

    Oh, and go for walks, dizzy or not. Fresh air is an amazing catalyst for happiness.

  251. Graham July 11, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    Hi Joel, thanks for reading along! Glad to see you’re a the two-week mark, pal!

  252. Brande July 12, 2011 at 3:33 am #

    18 hours post op. Can’t sleep even with the drugs, swelling is getting worse. Can’t wait for the 72 hour mark. Keep telling myself that is worth it, no more Migraines, minus the anesthesia hangover. Ate my first Ensure drink through a straw and lots of water, glad it’s over, no more anticipation and fear of the surgery.

  253. Graham July 12, 2011 at 7:50 am #

    Brande, it will be worth it, don’t you worry. Life will just be a touch frustrating for the next few weeks. It’s a short trial in the name of a longterm gain, though!

    Enjoy that Ensure, hehe. =)

  254. Brande July 17, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    Almost one week post-surgery. I am officially sick of Ensure. If I never see one of those cans again it will be too soon. Loving applesauce and gatorade. I am craving the weirdest things…popcorn (haven’t had that in months due to braces)and peanut M&M’s. The swelling is getting a bit better. I still think I look like Ben Stiller at the end of Dodgeball and my eyes are bloodshot. Ugh a day at a time.

  255. Ray July 18, 2011 at 2:48 am #

    I am 2 weeks out of surgery and I am seriously regretting the whole experience. Upper and Lower Jaw done and day to day I am finding life extremely difficult.

  256. Graham July 18, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    Brande, I definitely want a pack of peanut M&M’s now. Applesauce is a solid choice as well. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that! You’ll be feeling a lot better in another week or so. =)

  257. Graham July 18, 2011 at 8:13 am #

    Ray, it’s only the recovery that’s proving to be difficult. The end result will be well worth it. If you can muster up the willpower to make it through your three month’s of recovery, you’ll appreciate the outcome.

    Life will get better, pal. I promise.

  258. Brande July 18, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    The swelling gets better every day, quick question Graham. I have white patches on my tongue. My doctor had me on antibiotics during and after surgery. I just finished the antibiotics. Is this anything you dealt with? I’m thinking I will call my doctor tomorrow as my check up isn’t until Thursday. These patches with the swelling make painful to take in anything, even water.

  259. Graham July 19, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    Brande, I didn’t deal with any white patches on my tongue. If they’re little bumps, they may just be canker sores, but if they’re actual patches, I have no idea.

    I’d just give your surgeon a call. They can probably suggest some sort of over-the-counter medication to handle your situation.

    Best of luck!

  260. Kiara July 19, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    Hey everyone I just had my surgery last week to correct my underbite. The swelling has gone down alot and im thirsty all the time. The only problem I have is the discomfort when I sleep my teeth kind of clenches together and I cannot stand all of this drooling. Does any one know when it will stop.

  261. Brande July 19, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    Hey Graham, went to see my surgeon. He says the white patches is candida fungus commonly known as thrush. It happens when you are given antibiotics and they kill all bacteria in your body even the “good” kind. Gave me a new medication and no more antibiotics! He also said I’m healing really well.

  262. Brande July 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    Hey Kiara, I just had surgery last week too, the 11th. Drink all that you can, it helps tremendously. My swelling is alot better too, I haven’t had problem with drooling. Did you have your lower jaw done to correct the underbite? I had my upper jaw done. I know what you mean about the clenching; I have a wedge pillow so I’m propped and I lay down and lay my head back as far backwards as I can which allows the jaw line to relax, it helps with breathing too if you’re congested. Oh and a humidifier has been a God-send!

  263. Kiara July 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    Hey,Brande I had my lower jaw done and the only thing ive been able to keep done is bean juice and applesauce. Im tired of sleeping on the couch but it helps me sleep comfortable upright.Im worried about how Im going to look going back to school next month hopefully ill be able to eat some soft foods by then.

  264. Brande July 19, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    Kiara, can you not keep anything down because you’re nauseous? My doc put my on a anti-nausea patch (well all my meds were trans-dermal)But I only needed for the first 3 or 4 days. The first semi-solid food I ate was processed chicken noodle soup. You’d think it was Thanksgiving dinner the way I inhaled that cup! The next day I had mashed potatoes and gravy and felt like I conquered the world. You will be fine, I have my bad days but for the most part just trying to stay real positive because I know it won’t be like this forever! Why are you sleeping on the couch? Wedge pillows are only like $20 and help greatly.

  265. Graham July 20, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    Brande, glad to hear that you’re dropping off the antibiotics already! You’re already well into your second week of recovery–that’s a grande feeling.

    Thanks for providing Kiara with the good advice as well! =)

  266. Nick July 20, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    I have an appointment with the surgeon next week. My case is pretty bad – ortho said she has never seen a pallet as skinny as mine. I was told that both jaws have to be constructed – top jaw back and bottom jaw forward… lucky me! Should have listened to the parents when I was younger! lol

    Great advise on here. I’m a little nervous though. I’m afraid that I’m going to get the braces, they are going to start to align the teeth for after jaw surgery, then I’m going to back out in 2 years when push comes to shove.

    I want and need it done but the thought of being numb and in lots of pain for weeks at a time scares me a little.

    Any words of encouragement would be grateful. Looking at the start of braces in August.

    By the way, I’m 29! Thanks in advance!

  267. Graham July 20, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    Nick, my advice to you is to go ahead with the braces and the surgery.

    Braces are really just a minor inconvenience and you’ll be left with a nice, straight smile regardless of surgery. (Then again, if your teeth are already straight, then you likely won’t need braces for nearly as long as some of us. Lucky you.)

    As far as the recovery from surgery goes, it’s only 12 weeks. Time flies by these days and you’ll be past the discomfort and all healed up and back to normal before you know it. The pain, if you even have much, is just temporary and doesn’t last throughout the entire recovery period anyway.

    I think you’re going to be quite alright, my friend. I’d start the braces and then, in a couple of years, when it comes time for you to make the final call regarding surgery, we’ll still be here to field your questions. :-)

  268. Brande July 20, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    Nick, I just had my surgery last week. By the time you’ve had your braces on long enough to have surgery, you’ll be so excited that you’re almost done that you won’t back out! Plus why would you put in all the hard work and money just to chicken out at the end? No way, you’ll be stoked to have it that close to the end! I was told I would have my braces for 2 1/2 years, I just finished 17 months before I had my surgery and another 4 to 6 months post-op. I can’t wait!

    The worst for me is the swelling not the pain, but each day is getting better! The pain is manageable, not even really a factor anymore. I tried to think I was Super Woman five days out and could handle the pain with just Advil. Oh boy, did I learn that the hard way! Crying like a baby until I could get the prescribed stuff in my system! The numbness around my nose feels like when you go to the dentist to get a filling and once the sensation starts coming back and your nose tingles. I think you will be fine, the hardest part is not knowing what to expect that’s the scariest. But listen to Graham and others on here and their experiences, helped me tremendously!

  269. Chelsea July 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    Just got my wires back on. It took like a half hour and one fell off about two times. It is a living hell but it will be great once it is over. Its been about three weeks and i am finally able to take them off for about an hour a day and eat soft foods. Like pudding. I am sick off it and it has only been like three days that i have been able to take the bands off. So far i have had finger in my mouth and have gotten pinched by the little machine to take the bands off. So if you want to bite thier fingers off that is totally normal. Wish me luck!!! D:

  270. Graham July 22, 2011 at 7:27 am #

    Chelsea, you’ll soon be a pro when it comes to removing and reinserting those wires. What is a chore at first becomes a minor inconvenience quite quickly.

    Best of luck with them, and don’t go eating any fingers!

  271. scottie July 23, 2011 at 3:46 am #

    I had double jaw surgery on April 19, 2011. I still have some swelling in my cheek area next to my nose. The muscles in that spot are still kinda hard. As for numbness in my face, I have recovered about 99% of the feeling back. But I am still 100% numb in the roof of my mouth, I’m beginning to think I’m one of the rare cases with permanent nerve damage. As for the looks I am achieving, I am very satisfied. Someone earlier asked about white places forming on the tongue….that is a simple yeast infection caused by taking antibiotics. Nothing to worry about. Your doctor can/will prescribe medicine to kill the yeast infection. I too dealt with it. My meds were in the form of a lozenge to take care of the yeast infection. Also brush your tongue daily.

  272. Graham July 23, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    Scottie, I had a biology teacher in high school who underwent this operation in the early 90s and he said he randomly regained the rest of his feeling two years later. I’m not promising all of your feeling will come back (mine still hasn’t), but you might be surprised as feeling continues to return to your mouth in the coming months.

    Thanks for the info regarding the white spots on your tongue. I’ve never heard of that before, but it’s good to know that it’s not a problem. =)

  273. Peter July 24, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    Hi, just had lower jaw and chin surgery 3 days ago and right now I have heavy elastics and will be using a syringe for 4 weeks. My chin is constantly itchy so would that mean the swelling will be going down soon? Will showering be fine with a hand rail? After my 4 weeks of elastics how much will I be able to eat with the lighter ones?
    Thanks,
    Peter

  274. Graham July 24, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    Hi Peter,

    Your itchy chin is simply a result of your nerves being confused and upset. Your swelling peaks at 72 hours (which, for you, is today) and will take about a month to dissipate for the most part. Don’t expect it to be gone completely for about 2.5 months.

    You can shower just as before. A hand rail may be a safe option to make sure you don’t get light headed and fall over, but showering should be unaffected for the most part.

    When you have the lighter elastics put on, you’ll likely only be eating soup at first. It will take around 2-4 weeks post heavy elastics before you’re chewing through food again. Baby steps, my friend.

    Just focus on eating enough day by day. Don’t think too far ahead or you’ll psych yourself out! You’re in good shape, man!

  275. Peter July 25, 2011 at 7:51 am #

    Hey,
    It hasn’t been easy but everything is starting to feel better now. My swelling is going down, I tried breathe right strips and they really helped last night. I’m still having some stomach pains and trouble rinsing my mouth but things are definitely looking up.
    Thanks for replying and having such a helpful blog.
    Peter

  276. Kevin G July 27, 2011 at 12:45 am #

    Peter i am so glad to hear everything is going great!

    My surgery is in 9 hours! Goodnight and I will undoubtedly be checking and contributing to this blog!

  277. Graham July 27, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    Kevin, it sounds like you’re in the operating room as we speak! I wish you all the best, and definitely let us know how you’re doing during these initial days. =)

  278. Stefan Heyer July 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    Hei Graham,

    first of all I really want to tell you how much I respect you for establishing this site. Really, Thank You!!!

    I also had both my jaws done last Tuesday… and tomorrow (after 9 days) I’ll be leaving hospital and going home. I was/am very scared of the fact that my bite is not 100% correct yet. I still have a litle of an open bite.:S

    Cheers :)

  279. Graham July 27, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    Stefan, being left with an open bite is more common than you may think. It frightened me at first, but I’ve come to realize that it closes up naturally within a year or so. You won’t even notice it after a month of eating again. The human body is pretty incredible when it comes to working around imperfections.

    Enjoy your first few days back at home! You should be much more comfortable there than in those sterile hospital rooms. Cheers!

  280. Fionn July 28, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    Hey Graham! I will be having my double jaw surgery on August 16th and I’m so excited! I’ve been waiting for this surgery for years!
    I was so relieved when I found this blog as I found it very helpful and witty as I prepare for my surgery. It seems as though this surgery is alot more common than I initially thought.
    The only thing I’m worrying about is the swelling and the fact that my mouth will be banded shut as I’m only 16 and still in school(UK) and will be starting year 12 in September.
    You results are fantastic and I’m glad your recovery went well. Also, a huge good luck to anyone else having the surgery or is currently recovering :D

  281. Kevin July 28, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    Hey guys,
    So i had my surgery yesterday. spent over 24 hours in the hospital after the fact. My surgery was nearly 4 hours long. What has been amazing is that I was expecting to have lower and upper jaw surgery, as well as a genioplasty. Once they started on me with the upper jaw, that’s all they ended up having to do! Apparently everything fell into place so well that they didn’t need to touch anything else! this really pleased me because of my fear of numbness for the rest of my life from the sensitive nerve in the lower jaw.

    As far as pain goes, there is a lot but the morphine at the hospital was very helpful, as well as the liquid vikadin i’ve had since i’ve been home. What has been really frustrating is this massively awful headache i’ve had the entire time which i was counteracting with a cold napkin until now i jus started sudafed! what a DIFFERENCe! headache gone.

    having my teeth touch eachother in such an even fashion has been unbelievable weird. even though they are wired shut everything is in line perfectly from what i can tell. I am so happy with the results, even though it’s only day 2. I am not as swollen as expected, which is probably due to having only the upper jaw done as i explained above. For anyone only getting upper jaw surgery, expect your top lip to be very numb, as well as your cheeks all the way up to your eyes. i have full feeling in my lower jaw and about 80% in my lower lip.

    OH yeah, i’ve been extremely sensitive to loud noises and anything that stimulates the senses as well, which sounds normal for any surgery i’m guessing.

    Thanks guys!

    Kevin

  282. Graham July 28, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    Fionn, I’m glad you’re excited for the operation in a few weeks! You’ll likely have to forego most conversation for your first few weeks back at school, but you’ll be back to speaking and living a relatively normal life by October. It’ll be an exercise in humility!

    Keep us posted following your surgery and let us know how you’re doing!

  283. Graham July 28, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    Kevin, that’s great news that you only had to have one jaw operated on! Glad you found a way to make your headache go away as well.

    I see you’re planning on posting YouTube videos as you recover. I’m looking forward to watching these.

    Stay cheerful, pal!

  284. Kevin July 29, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    http://www.youtube.com/jawsurgeryupdate

    Thanks Graham…you rule!

  285. Tiffany July 29, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    Hey everyone!

    I’m so glad that I found this website because as scary as it is to me to have jaw surgery, what’s more scary is to be going through it alone. I’ve just started my journey through all of this when my teeth began hurting (like the pain you get with cavities, but I don’t have any cavities). I figured I needed braces for sure, but when the word surgery was brought up I was ready to start running. And of course, Invisalign is not an option. I know this sounds superficial of me to say, but I’m only 22 and appearances matter to me. I’m in my last few years of college and am wondering if winter break is really enough time to have this done and healed.

    My mouth story is a little strange. On Tuesday I had a baby tooth pulled (yes, I had a baby tooth still hanging in there at age 22). Now, there is a permanent tooth under it, and it is yet to be seen whether or not it will come up, but I will be keeping my fingers crossed. What’s more of the problem is my bite. My jaw is off center and while my teeth are (mostly) straight, I have a slight underbite and almost nothing touches on the right side. I know that there’s probably a better dental term for that. So I will need the corrective jaw surgery and braces. I’m worried that I’ll have to be wired shut for 6 weeks.

    Anyway, I once the hole in my mouth heals completely in 3 weeks my oral surgeon will do the full workup for jaw surgery/braces. And while I don’t believe in god, I do hope that any of you who dread through this entirely long entry can send out a few good thoughts into the universe for a 22 who is scared out of her mind :)

    And again…sorry it’s so long <3

  286. Graham July 29, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    Hey Tiffany!

    First off, I can’t believe you still had a baby tooth at 22 years old! Your teeth definitely have a fight in them!

    I’m excited that you’re able to have this done. Hopefully it leaves you with the working bite you’re looking for.

    Let us know when you have a surgery date!

  287. Tiffany July 30, 2011 at 4:35 am #

    I’ve been fighting migraines for a LONG time and I’m really hoping that this is going to be help, if not a solution. Thanks for writing me back to me so quickly! I’m hoping for all the support I can get :) It aggravates me to no end that my mom has perfect teeth! Ah! So frustrating.

    And the baby tooth is very interesting. Everytime I see a dentist/orthodontist/oral surgeon I get the same response when they look at my teeth. They all say ‘hm…that’s interesting’. I’m not sure if that’s really a good sign…

  288. Denise July 31, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    My son had upper jaw only with a sinus lift, also bone morphological protien was used to grow bone in several areas where needed, He is on day 3 and is so miserable. He has had generalized itching and we are now on our third antibiotic to hopefully fix that. Although he has never had a reaction to antibiotics before which concerns me. The swelling is supposed to be worse several days later because of the Bone protien. Two things are worrying me. First the itching could he be allergic to something else besides the antibiotic? Two he feels a vibration in his cheek when he talks could this be air that has gotten between the cheek and sinus? Anyone have similar procedure and issues?

  289. Brande July 31, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    Hi Denise, I just had my upper jaw done on the 11th, so about 3 weeks post op. I am allergic to most antibiotics so I know what that’s like. But it may be the pain medications. I was itchy like crazy the first few days, my face felt so incredibly uncomfortable (even more than I expected) and was constantly scratching my arms and chest. I spoke to my surgeon and that is a common reaction to some narcotic pain meds. I chose to tough it out and after a week my itching sub-sided, or I just got used to it. If you still think it is the antibiotic by all means talk to the doctor as soon as possible. Some antibiotics can just make your stomach upset while other reactions (like mine) are anaphylaxis (can’t breathe) which is life or death. Day 3 to 6 were the worst for me, I didn’t have anything done to my sinuses but definitely talk to the doctor about your concerns – ASAP.

  290. Patty August 1, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    I am 10 weeks after surgery and notice my gums are extremely sensative. The roof of my mouth feels like I just ate captain crunch all the time. I’m hopeing this is normal maybe feeling coming back that I didn’t have? I only brush once daily but floss several times a day as I always have. Still no feeling in my chin and I still bite my lips when I eat. I hate my new habit of chewing with my mouth open so i don’t bite myself.

  291. Graham August 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    Patty, experiencing numbness at 10 weeks is very normal. Your mouth and lips will be fairly sensitive for a little while yet.

    As for biting your lips, you’ll learn to avoid that pitfall as well. I bit my lips, tongue and even my cheeks quite often when I first started eating again, but it only took a couple of weeks before I could eat normally and didn’t have to think about such things any longer.

    Everything you’re experiencing is expected. You’re going to come out of this smiling!

  292. Graham August 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    Brande, thanks for taking care of Denise’s questions. You have more experience in that area that I do! =)

  293. EmilyB August 4, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    Thanks for all the recovery tips and suggestions on liquid stuff to eat, or drink. My big day is August 17, getting a little nervous, excited though too. My boyfriend just asked me if I’ll look different, said he hopes I don’t. Kinda made me sad but seeing all you guys who’ve gone through this helps. I know I’ll be better off afterwards. Will keep reading everyone else’s stories and experiences. Thanks!

  294. Brande August 4, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    Don’t think I’ve shared this little gem I discovered. Baby spoons! Gerber makes some where the tips are covered in plastic, they’re small and with the plastic coating it doesn’t feel bad against teeth. I used them to spoon applesauce, yogurt, and pudding into my mouth. Worked wonderfully!

  295. Graham August 4, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

    Emily, other people will say you look different, but you’ll probably see yourself the same when you look in a mirror. The shape of your face will change, but your features and color will remain the same.

    The main difference is that you’ll smile a lot more!

  296. Graham August 4, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    Brande, you’re not the first to fall in love with baby spoons! I wish I would have known about them when I was recovering! If they work wonders, keep on using them. We won’t tell anyone. :-P

  297. Richard August 5, 2011 at 1:23 am #

    Hi Graham,
    It’s been nearly 2 weeks since my operation. I haven’t really been having many problems actually, my only concern is about the way I now look. Before the surgery I did have a noticeable underbite, but it didn’t look too bad and I was comfortable about the way that I looked. I’ve been comparing my side profile with yours when you were around this far post-op and you look fairly normal (albeit still swollen) whereas I look as though I now have a prominent overbite and my lower jaw has sunken in. I had double jaw surgery also, but I didn’t get my chin done because my surgeon didn’t think that it was necessary. I’m hoping that I’m still just very swollen around my upper jaw and that when it all goes down I’ll look normal, but I’m still really concerned and I go back to work on Monday . Anyway, I’m just wondering if you went through anything like this? Where you ever concerned with the way you looked?

  298. Kevin August 5, 2011 at 1:55 am #

    baby spoons and sippy cups – god’s gift to jaw surgery patients!

  299. Graham August 5, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    Hi Richard,

    What you’re experiencing is entirely normal. We all went through the exact same week of fear where we thought we were left with a noticeable overbite.

    Once your swelling dies down a little more, you’ll begin to accept the new shape of your face and you’ll start to love your smile. I assure you it’s just the swelling that is throwing you off right now.

    Inflammation hangs around for upwards of the full three months, so don’t judge yourself too harshly until you hit that point.

  300. Alexa August 8, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    Hey Graham,

    I saw that your still answering these posts. Well, its been 12 days post surgery and some of my face is still numb. You seem to know much about this from your own experience as well as other people’s experience. How much longer do you think it will take until my numbness and swelling goes away completely?
    Im freaking out because I thought it would only take about a week and now I’m thinking it will take more than a month >.<

    Thanks, Alexa

  301. Graham August 9, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    Hi Alexa,

    You’ll be numb for another few months yet. Most of your feeling should be back by the 2-month mark, but it may take up to 6 months for any residual feeling to return.

    As for swelling, most of that should be gone between 6-8 weeks post-surgery, but it may take up to 3 months for it to completely dissipate.

    You’ve got nothing to worry about though! You’re already approaching the 2-week mark, and everything moves uphill very quickly after that! Be cheerful, my friend!

  302. Alexa August 9, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    Hey Graham,

    Thanks for responding so quickly. Wow Im in shock it takes so long because my doctors said that recovery would take up to a month but what you said must be true because the rest of the comments on this site say their experience was about the same.

    Well hopefully I fully recover faster because I’m starting college soon and I’m moving away from home so thats already gonna be a frustrating change.

    Thanks again though,
    Alexa

  303. Graham August 10, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    There’s no way you could recover in one month if you had both jaws operated on (unless, of course, you’re some kind of super human, which is a pretty cool thought). If you only had a single jaw moved, you’ll recover a lot more quickly, but the swelling will still be around for a couple of months.

    I’m guessing you’re starting college in early September. You should be good to go by then. You won’t be perfectly recovered, but you’ll be speaking and you’ll have your energy back.

    You’ll be back to normal soon, Alexa!

  304. Alexa August 10, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Hahahah I wish I was some sort of a super human right about now. Well anyway, my new motto is “stay positive”. Thanks for your help!!
    -Alexa

  305. Peter August 17, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    Hey
    I finally got my heavy elastics off a few days early of the 4 week mark. The first day I stuck to my blended diet but by day 2 I had my first “real” meal. I had French fries and chicken cut in small enough pieces that I could swallow them. Even though I never really chewed the fact that I had real food felt so good. I’m heading off to university soon so I want to be at least able to eat semi-normally by the time I leave.
    Thanks for having this blog (and still checking it), it has been very good to read and find out about others people’s experience through jaw surgery and helped me through the process.
    Cheers,
    Peter

  306. Graham August 18, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    Peter, that first meal is a pretty excellent experience, isn’t it? I remember my first few meals as well (along with not being able to chew any part of them).

    Good luck in university this semester, brother!

  307. Fionn August 18, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    Hi! I had my surgery on the 16th and it’s now the 18th and it is alot different to what I expected. But I feel that it will be worth it in the end.
    My teeth aren’t wired together which I found quite weird but my surgeon said that everything looks perfect and my x-rays look great and I have a follow up appointment next wednesday so I’m looking forward with the recovery til then because I feel pretty awful right now.
    Thanks.

  308. Tatjana August 18, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Hi Fionn!
    I just had mine on the 11th and I felt awful for the first 4 days. Hang in there – it will get better – I promisse! Good luck on your appointment and congrads on the surgery!! I have my one week appointment tomoorrow.

  309. Graham August 18, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    Fionn, the first two weeks are the most difficult by a long shot. If you can manage to survive for another 10-12 days, I assure you life will become a lot easier for you!

    Try to get outside, go for walks, breathe some fresh air, and find some movies or books to keep yourself entertained.

  310. EmilyB August 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Well Graham I’m in day 1 of recovery, staying a second night tonight. Doc just cleaned out my nostrils full of tons of gunk…that is what kept me up all night last night. So stuffed up still. A little worried to eat since I haven’t had anything beside water yet….and I’m going to the bathroom more than I would like to, doc said he’d lower the number of intravenous liquids, one thing is for sure catheters are convenient!! Got mine out this morning, I’m exhausted yet bored and yes my bum hurts too, ( I believe it was you who mentioned that), well I’ll be blogging too if I don’t fall asleep, thanks for your website definitely gave me a source of courage

  311. Tatjana August 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    Hi EmilyB! Hope you are feeling a little bit better than yesterday. I am on day 8th now and feeling great, but I, just like you, had a very rought time the first 4 days – couldn’t hold anything in my stomach, had a headache and was stuffed up like never before. Take it in small steps – don’t force it, all you need now is rest. Good old movie is a good solution too, something that can take you mind off of your current condition. Remember to sleep with your head elevated, it helped me to keep my swelling down. And of course, listen and do everything your doctor says. Get feeling better soon!

  312. EmilyB August 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    Tatyanna, hello! I feel like I am getting bigger in my face, and my surgery was only on Wednesday. I feel huge. Just got home a little while ago and that’s a plus for sure :) You are so optimistic! I’m going to find some good movies, thank you and best of luck to you :)

  313. EmilyB August 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

    One more thing Tatyanna or anyone, how do you eat these first few days? If this is horrible don’t tell me, but day 3 was today and all I ate was about 1/2 a chocolate and 1/2 a vanilla ensure and a few sips of juice here and there. Tonight I had 1/2 a Carnation Instant Breakfast…it’s so hard to eat! I take my meds and then I can almost talk ( so people can just barely understood some of my words) and it’s awesome, then 3 hours later it wears off and I feel sewed, (I’m only wearing bands) so not really wired shut. Any advice, please, thanks….

  314. Brande August 19, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    Emily B – I had my surgery July 11th. I’m so much better now, I go back to work next week. The first few days were really rough! I think 4 – 6 were probably the roughest for me with the swelling peaking during that time frame. Also, I lost 17 pounds in 2 weeks because I couldn’t really tolerate anything other than Ensure and Gatorade. I forced myself to start eating applesauce and runny oatmeal, yogurt things like that and it helped. Also use a baby spoon. They are smaller and easier to get into your mouth even with the elastics. I would push the food through the elastics. Make sure you have a really good water pick! Good luck!

  315. EmilyB August 19, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    How soon is too soon to clean out the nose and mouth? I was told to not clean out the nose at all but it’s really irritating me

  316. Brande August 19, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    I know what you mean Emily, it is so irritating. I was a bad patient. I did the very thing you are not supposed to do… I didn’t blow my nose right away but I did clean it out. I slept with a humidifier too which helps tremendously, plus sleeping with a wedge pillow that kept my head elevated. Not recommending you go against your doctor’s wishes because there is a risk you could cause more harm than good, but I totally now where you are at.

  317. Brande August 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    Oh and the mouth, I used salt water the very first day. Also my doctor gave me a prescription rinse to help heal the gums. Tasted horrid (very metallic but did have a minty after taste). My surgeon let me use a baby toothbrush as soon as I was comfortable with it. I didn’t do much for the first week, but after that started brushing regularly. Just the taste of tooth paste in my mouth made me happier then nasty stink breath! lol Still can’t really stick my tongue out and brush that yet. But it comes back in baby steps.

  318. Tatjana August 20, 2011 at 6:00 am #

    EmilyB – I am glad you are home! To be honest with you I didn’t realy eat much in the first 4 days at all. I would have a couple of sips of water of juice and that’s it – no ensure no carnation, I just couldn’t hold anything in my stomach, I dropped 8 lbs in the first 3 days. So, I think you are doing great considering the amount of food you eat! Keep doing this great job! Trust me things will suddenly get better; and in a couple more days you will not even think of what you had been done through. You will just wake up one morning and feel your normal self again, very very tired but normal!

  319. Tatjana August 20, 2011 at 6:10 am #

    EmilyB – about cleaning your nose – my doctor suggested to shut some sailine water (ocean spray) in my nose every 2 hours, which helped a lot. I used q-tip to get all the jink out. I am still using this spray but much less, my nose still feels dry. For brushing my teeth I use a baby brush and a flat tong scraper. I feets perfectly in my mouth and scrapes all the junk out, after that I use prescription mouth wash. I was tricky at first to rise because I coudn’t keep my lips together and the mouth wash was spilling all over, but it got better overtime. Keep trying and you will be absolutely fine. Good luck with the recovery!

  320. EmilyB August 20, 2011 at 6:11 am #

    Thanks guys so much! You are encouraging :) My breath stinks, I’m going to attempt to clean it somewhat this morning :)

  321. EmilyB August 21, 2011 at 5:50 am #

    Hi everyone, what do you’ll do for nausea? Been so sickish feeling yesterday and today, I haven’t had anything to eat. I’m hungry just I know I won’t be able to keep it down. What did you guys do? Thanks

  322. Tatjana August 21, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    Hi EmilyB, I was very nauseous. Call your doctor or whoever is on-call today and ask him to prescribe you something to help you to get through with your nausea. I had to ask my doctor for some medication. Depending on your condition he will be able to find something for you.

  323. EmilyB August 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    My surgeon ended up calling me at home today to check in on me. He is really a kind guy! He prescribed a nausea medication to me but suggested I just get prune juice in me to get some of the icky hospital antibiotics out of my system..his advice was pretty good, and luckily I’m feeling better!

    One more thing, how often do you use icepacks for? I figure I’ll use for a while longer as I’m still very puffed out

  324. Tatjana August 22, 2011 at 5:06 am #

    EmilyB, good to hear you date feeling better!! As far as the ice packs, I actually didn’t have any at all. My doctor had said that the ice is good first 24 hours , and after that gentle heat, like a hot towel is best, so this what I ended up doing. You might want to check with him again, just to make sure you are on the same page. Good luck!

  325. EmilyB August 22, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    Yes I do believe you are right. He told me so much information but a good portion I heard when I was heavily medicated and I just don’t remember it all! I am feeling, soo much better. Thank you so much for all you advice.

  326. Phillip Stone August 24, 2011 at 11:47 pm #

    Ok so this is a big one for me. I have a 10 year class reunion coming up in November this year. Im scheduled to have my surgery on the 9th of September. the doc said i cant fly for a certain amount of time due to the fact that the sinus cavity is being exposed . what is the recommended time of ” NO FLY ” ? Any information will be great.

  327. Kristy August 26, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    Love this site – I’m 3 days post-op and didn’t realize the swelling would be so bad. I’ve been icing my face a lot but wasn’t sure about the heat. Does one work better than the other or should I use heat later in recovery or in conjunction? How early were you able to talk again through clenched teeth?

    Any advice is most helpful!

  328. Graham August 27, 2011 at 12:54 am #

    Emily, Tatjana, Brande! I’ve been on the road for the past week, but it’s great to see that you’re all helping each other out! I really appreciate it. =)

    Also, totally loving the blog, Emily. Looks like Doug is keeping you company!

  329. Graham August 27, 2011 at 12:55 am #

    Phillip, I have no idea how long you should wait until flying. The pressure inside the cabin of a plane will most definitely be uncomfortable for the first few weeks, but I’m not sure what the recommended wait period is. You’d best seek out your surgeon’s wisdom in that area.

  330. Graham August 27, 2011 at 12:57 am #

    Hi Kristy,

    I started using heat on my face on the third day. I’m not sure which is better–I was simply following my surgeon’s advice. Having a heat pack on my face helped me sleep a bit more soundly, though.

    You’ll be fairly silent for the first two weeks, but after that, talking [in what is likely to be a silly voice] shouldn’t be a problem. The positive bit is that once you begin talking, you regain movement of your jaw quite quickly because you’re exercising it!

  331. EmilyB August 27, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Hey everyone! Thanks Graham for checking out my blog, and thanks Tatjana and Brande for helping me out sooo much this past week! I cannot believe how great I am feeling right now and I wouldn’t be without everyones helpful suggestions, tips, motivation and support! I would also like to recommend everyone try making blended homemade waffles with butter and honey, whipped up with some apple juice! Oh my is it delicious, just had that for breakfast =) Hope everyone’s recovery is going well!

  332. BigFatChin August 30, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    Hi,
    I just had an operation 4 days ago. My face is swollen so badly that I look like a balloon upside down. Anyways, I read most of the tips but still have questions regarding the heat pack usage.

    -How many times a day can i do it?
    -Where should I place my heat packs?(Yes, my face became so fat, that I have a head that can fit two heat packs)
    -Basically, what is the fastest way to get the swelling down? I gotta get back to school in two weeks.

    Probs I’ve been having:
    Can’t sleep at night. The 30 degrees thing with the head is a huge issue as it hurts my neck. Can’t breathe occasionally. Choking a lot when I drink liquid. My syringe only holds 60ml so its a bit hard to get to 1L.

    Nice blog btw

  333. Trinty August 31, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    Hi,

    I just had upper, lower and chin surgery 2.5 weeks ago. Since yesterday when I swallow my saliva it feels like a strain on my teeth…is this normal? do you think its because sensation is returning…my teeth also in general feel a little strange, almost itchy…anyone identify?

    tx for the blog! happy healing peeps!

  334. Graham September 1, 2011 at 11:51 am #

    Emily, you just gave me the hugest craving for homemade waffles with honey!

  335. Graham September 1, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    BigFatChin, to answer your questions:

    1) You can use the heat pack as often as you’d like. It’s not damaging at all–just relaxing.

    2) I always draped the heat pack over my chin and cheeks. I think your chin is the most important because it has swelling from the actual cuts in the bone.

    3) The fastest way to alleviate swelling is to move your mouth as little as possible. At the end of the day, it’s just a matter of time though. You’re still going to be quite swollen in 2 weeks, but you’ll still be able to do schoolwork. You might just have to forego being a social butterfly for the first few weeks.

    It’s frustrating, but you’ll get through it and it will all be worth it on the other side. I promise!

  336. Graham September 1, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    Trinty, that straining feeling on your teeth is normal. Every part of your face (your teeth especially) will feel like they’re under pressure for the first couple of months. It will go away once the swelling dissipates.

  337. joanne September 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

    Hi Graham, id just like to say thank you very much for making this blog, i finally got my surgery scheduled for the 28th of this month, and reading your blog has really helped alleviate any worries i had.

    Joanne

  338. Graham September 5, 2011 at 11:42 pm #

    Glad it’s generating a bit of confidence for you, Joanne. Let us know how it goes!

  339. Trinity September 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    Thanks Graham for the reply. Another question: I’m currently finishing week 4 and even now when I wake up there is swelling?? Was it the same for you? Was really hoping to see significant improvements by now. :(. Tx alot!

  340. Graham September 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    Trinity, you can expect noticeable swelling for up to 2 months. It should be getting better every single day, but it won’t dissipate for a little while yet.

    You’ll also notice your swelling is directly tied to the amount of talking you do throughout the day.

  341. Trinity September 11, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    Thanks…just had a pity party for myself. I just want the healing over and done with. Will talk less ;). And just take it one day at a time. also nervous if I’ll ever get sensation back in my chin and lip area…must say you were pretty awesome and positive during your recovery!!! Much respect! :)…

  342. Sonya September 13, 2011 at 2:27 am #

    Hi Graham,

    Firstly,thanks a ton for the blog. It has helped a alot. I am a month post op(had double jaw and chin surgery)…I am taking it day by day and some days are certainly better then others. The one thong that I can’t understand though is the toothache that I experience all along the bottom right side of my mouth? Have you experienced toothache? I just can’t understand why the teeth would hurt so
    much and it’s only the teeth on the one side. Any thoughts or similar experiences? I’d love to hear about them.

    Thanks again.

  343. Nikki September 13, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    Hi! I’m having my jaw surgery to correct my underbite later this year. I was curious as to how long I will have to take off work? My job isn’t physically demanding, but I do have to speak with patients, which I see may be a bit difficult? And also, did you have any problems with nausea? I’m mostly concerned with this part. It seems like not many people have too much pain! Thanks so much!

  344. Graham September 13, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    Sonya, the only toothaches I had were because the splint has jumped out of position and was rubbing against a specific tooth. If you have any sort of aching pain like that, your surgeon will be able to help you out. I went and saw my surgeon for a couple of unscheduled appointments in an effort to alleviate discomfort.

    Hopefully you take care of it soon!

  345. Graham September 13, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    Hi Nikki!

    I’d recommend taking a full month off of work if you’re required to speak to people. I returned to my job after 2 weeks only because I was able to work on the computer and avoid conversation.

    I didn’t have any nausea, but I know some people react to the anesthetic and feel a bit sick for the first few days. It won’t last more than a week though, so it’s really nothing to worry about. =)

  346. Nikki September 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    Thanks so much!! I appreciate that! Great site!

  347. Mo September 27, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    I will be having surgery on both jaws pretty soon. I have had my braces on for over 6 months. It’s looking like early summer for surgery. I am really nervous about it all. What was the hardest part to deal with after coming home? How long did it take before you were able to resume to most normal activities?

  348. Graham September 27, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    Mo, the most difficult parts were the inability to speak and eat. You’ll likely be blending food for at least a few weeks, and you’ll have difficulty communicating because of the initial swelling.

    I went back to work after 2 weeks, but I didn’t resume a normal lifestyle for about 6 weeks.

    It’s totally worth it in the long run though! Good luck!

  349. stephanie September 27, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    I found the most difficult part; so much swelling i couldnt close my mouth to swallow or use any of my face muscles. I was syringe feeding when i got home but because i couldnt control my muscles i ended up dribling but due to the numbness i never noticed!! which was a bit embarasing! despite everything i would do it all again (im currently day 26 post surgery) xx

  350. Rebecca October 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    Thanks for the site, the information you have provided has been so helpful! I am one week into my recovery from having both upper and Lower jaw surgery. The swelling has drastically decreased but the numbness is in full swing and feels so strange but i find everyday gets easier and i learn to adjust! My nose and throat are both very sore but i spoke with my doctor and he says he completely normal and i should not blow my nose or bend over for the first 10 days and everything will go back to normal! With all the pain, hunger and sleepless nights I know in the end i will be happy that i went through with the surgery!

    Thanks again!!!

  351. Graham October 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    I remember those initial sleepless nights. They’re definitely taxing, but I assure you they will go away and you’ll start waking up with a smile.

    Be careful when you start blowing your nose again so you don’t break any clots.

    Stay positive, Rebecca!

  352. Sinead October 8, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    Hi everyone!i’m 19 and from Ireland :) I have a cleft palate and wil be getting jaw surgery in hopefully the coming months. getting my xrays done on monday so hopefully my orthodontist will be able to give me a date soon. i was hesitant about getting the surgery at first but after reading all your comments, i’m so excited to get it done-i have no doubt the pain and discomfort will be worth it all! just wanted to say this blog is awesome! thanks a lot to graham for setting it all up – its a credit to him its still going strong so long after the initial post!
    -Sinéad

  353. Graham October 10, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    Nice to meet you, Sinead! You’re the first person from Ireland on here (or at the least the first to join the conversation).

    Looking forward to hearing about your results!

  354. Sam October 11, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    I am 33 years old I have 2 kids and I work full time. I live in Kennewick, WA and I am getting upper and lower jaw surgery in 3 weeks and I am so nervous but so can’t wait for it to be over. I have been waiting for this for a very long time. I just want to say this is the best site I have found so far. Thanks for all the information. Any and all advice is appreciated.

  355. Graham October 11, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    Sam, you’re a trooper! The operation will certainly slow you down for a month or so, but judging by the amount of responsibility you’re currently undertaking, you possess the willpower to jump right back into the swing of things.

    All the best in a few weeks!

  356. Sinead October 12, 2011 at 3:48 am #

    I thought I’d help keep this thread international :D I’ll let you know how it goes! Good luck to you too Sam, I’m sure everything will go just great!

  357. Sam October 12, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    Thanks Guys. I am so excited of course – you all know how bad the wait is. I am loving your blog. I am trying to convince my husband I need an IPAD or a new Laptop so I can have it during my recovery…. :) Yeah the first month will be quite exhausting for me. I have a 1 1/2 year old and a 3 1/2 year old so I am always on my toes.

  358. Graham October 12, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    Sam, please try to convince your husband to send me an iPad as well so I can respond to your comments more swiftly.

    Thanks in advance. =)

  359. Sam October 12, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    hahaha good luck with that one…

  360. Sonya October 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    Hello hello!!

    This is my tenth week post op! Toothache gone.

    Swelling gone.

    Only healing remains in the chin area. Orthodontist and surgeon are thrilled with the results.

    As am I.

    IT IS LIFECHANGING!!!!

    Abt 3-5 more mths of braces and then I’m gonna have a chew party!!! Whoop whoop.

    Take care guys!!!!

  361. Graham October 19, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    Start the countdown to brace-removal day! Dibs being on the guest list!

  362. Adam October 19, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    Hey man, I had my surgery last tuesday Oct 11th. So it’s been a little over a week and healing has really kinda sucked for me so far. I had upper and lower Jaw surgery to correct my underbite. My biggest issue that I can’t stop drooling. I’m not having very much pain at all. I actually stopped taking my pain medicine the 2nd day I got out of the hospital. But with my drooling problem I can’t sleep or really do anything with out having a to wear some form of wrap around my face. Any recommendations? And also I have had perfect 20 20 vision my entire life but ever since my surgery everything seems pretty blurry. Is this a temporary thing or something I should go have checked out? Thanks

  363. Graham October 19, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    Good to meet you, Adam.

    Your recovery sounds very similar to mine, at least at this point in time. I drooled non-stop for the first 2 weeks as well. I remember going to the movies with my parents on one of those early days and having to bring a cloth with me to wipe my drool up throughout the show. Uncomfortable.

    Your drooling will stop soon, I can assure you of that. 2-3 weeks is as long as it should last for anybody–you just have the privilege of being on the tail end of that estimate. As soon as your feeling begins to return, the drooling will subside in a big way.

    As for your vision, I honestly have no idea. My guess is that your body is spending so much energy on healing your jaw that some of your other senses aren’t operating optimally (much like when you’re sick with the flu). In any case, I’d give your surgeon’s office a call and ask them.

  364. Sam October 19, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    2 weeks to go until Surgery and everyone has been pretty supportive but I am getting the whole I don’t want you to do this. You don’t need it…blah blah blah. How did you handle the people who really just don’t understand? I am not doubting my decision I have wanted this for so long but for some reason they are making me feel bad about doing this. I know everything will be fine with surgery but there are always risks and I know that. they just don’t undersatnd. I guess I need to vent, I am kind of down about it.

  365. Graham October 20, 2011 at 12:12 am #

    Wow, Sam, your day of reckoning is almost here! I received the same response from several people. Most people just assume the that it’s a vanity operation and there’s really nothing you can do to change their mind. It’s not their life, so they don’t have a lot of say in it anyway.

    I’d just ignore these people, go ahead with the operation, and when all is said and done, you’ll be happy with your results. And the comments from the cheap seats will draft away as quickly as they came. =)

  366. Adam October 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    About how long did you guys have to wear the bands? What week will I be able to start eating soft foods?

  367. Graham October 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    I wore my bands for about 10 weeks and wasn’t able to eat soft foods for 7 weeks. Most people can start eating soft foods a lot sooner than that.

  368. hayley October 30, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    Hia I have just been told that I’m getting lower jaw surgery sometime next year do you think I will have to use a syringe like you did even thought its only one jaw ? X

  369. Graham October 30, 2011 at 11:59 am #

    Hayley, I’m not entirely sure. You might be able to drink from a cup right away. One thing you can be of is that you won’t be eating solid foods for a few weeks.

  370. Adam October 30, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    About how long did it take before you recovered feeling in your gums and mouth?

  371. Graham October 30, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    Most of my feeling was back within 6 weeks. Residual areas regained sensitivity by the 4-month mark. I still have a minor numb patches on my chin and bottom lip and I don’t expect feeling to return to those areas.

  372. sam November 5, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    Surgery day has come and gone. I had surgery on the upper and lower jaw. They widened the back of my upper and moved my lower jaw forward. I am really swolen – I look like a Macy’s hot air balloon in my face. I go see doc on Tuesday – the worst part of it right now is the swelling of course and when I have to cough it is really phlemy and bloody – really gross.

  373. Graham November 6, 2011 at 12:59 am #

    You’re on the road to recovery now, Sam! Remember, these first two weeks will most definitely be frustrating, but try to drink as much fluids as you can and go for walks every single day. Soon, you’ll be back to normal life and be missing the break!

  374. sam November 6, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    Right now I can drink Water really well and milk but the medicines. I am having such a hard time not gagging. I would so rather have a shot 5 times a day then to do the syringes. I am so swollen. I feel like a mac truck hit me today. I know it gets better but I dread everytime I have to take medicine.

  375. Graham November 6, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    Feeling like a truck hit you is probably the most common description given of what a person feels like post-op. Think of the day you’ll be able to tell people you were hit by a truck and survived though!

  376. Robin November 7, 2011 at 1:00 am #

    Great post-op resource, Graham & love your positive encouragement. I’m 50 years old & 19 days dual-jaw post-op. My initial surgery was to correct an open bite, but my surgeon later discovered I also had sleep apnea & said he could correct it, too. I wasn’t counting on it but I can attest that my breathing (minus the slight nasal congestion) is better than ever…AMAZING!

    Thanks for the healing time frame perspective–I’ll have to live with the numbness in the roof of my mouth, inside right cheek, lower chin and lower lip for a little longer. The restlessness and the teeth-tingling is annoying but glad to know it happens. I stayed in the hospital overnight. Heavy bruising appeared 2 days post-op on my right lower jaw down to my throat. It’s all but cleared up now & the swelling has gone down significantly.

    To other patients, I dealt with the nausea for the first couple of days by rinsing out the blood in my mouth as often as possible with plain warm water, warm salt water & the prescribed medicated mouth rinse. I react to anesthesia and the anti-nausea patch didn’t help me. I couldn’t take any of my prescribed liquid meds–it upset my tummy. Eating (albeit liquids) and drinking is key to the early recovery stages–your body needs it. Afrin, saline nasal spray & another prescribed nasal spray has helped with keeping my nasal passages comfortable. Medicated lip balm is a must. Take your time when starting soft foods–relearning chewing with your new jaw is a challenge–I bit & rebit the inside of my lips & cheeks a bunch of times–they’re numb but swollen because I keep re-injuring the same areas. I don’t have problems with my vision, but my Dr. said that it’s a possible post-op complication. The Dr. also said that it takes about a year for the bones to heal completely.

    As Graham said, it does get better and I’m so glad I had the surgery…completely life changing (for the better).

  377. Graham November 7, 2011 at 1:53 am #

    It’s so good to hear that your sleep apnea was cured on top of your jaw being fixed, Robin! You definitely killed two birds with one stone.

    It’s nice to see someone so happy after just 19 days. If you can maintain this sort of attitude, the rest of it will be child’s play for you!

    Keep smiling, my friend!

  378. sam November 7, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    thanks for all the posts. everything is so encouraging. I am feeling kind of down right now. I just simply cannot take the meds – it takes everything out of me not to puke. I know it gets better but WOW I just had no idea. I need to eat more so I can get some strength up. THannks.

  379. Brande November 7, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    Sam, have you asked your doctor about dermal patches? My surgeon had me on pain and nausea meds trans-dermally. Best thing, I didn’t have to worry about that aspect until I was able to step down to oral meds weeks later.

  380. Brande November 7, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    Sam, have you asked your doctor about transdermal meds? My pain and nausea meds were administered this way for the first couple of weeks.

  381. Brande November 7, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    Sorry an error message came up, I didn’t think the first post went through.

  382. sam November 7, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    my hubby called surgeon today. we go see him tomorrow. although I must say I blended up some chili today and that was pretty good. I feel better tonight. Thanks everyone

  383. sam November 11, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    so today is day 8 and I must say things are looking up. I feel a lot better actually starting to feel human again. I had my lower jaw moved forward 10mm my upper jaw widened and a my chin moved. I have full feeling in my upper lips – partial feeling in my lower lip and chin. My swelling is better but man I can’t wait for that to get better. I go today to get new elestacis which mean I can brush my teeth. The worst part is the film that has built up on my teeth – so gross.

  384. Graham November 11, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    You finally get to brush your teeth! That was one of my most coveted milestones following surgery.

    You’re going to feel so fresh, Sam!

  385. Adam November 18, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    So today makes day 38 and I went to see my surgeon and he wasn’t there so I had to see his partner. He said that it looks like i’m having an allergic reaction to one of the plates on the right side of my mandible and may have to be removed. Has anyone else ever had this problem or heard of removing the plates?

  386. Graham November 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    Adam, I’ve heard a few accounts of people who reacted poorly to the plates put in during the operation. Every person I’ve encountered that experienced this issue just went in for a simple surgery to have the plate removed.

    Has anyone else experienced this?

  387. Adam November 25, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    Well it ended up that I wasn’t having an allergic reaction. One of the screws in my plate came loose and they ended up removing the screws and plate on the day before Thanksgiving.

  388. Graham November 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    Wow, a screw came loose. It’s good to know these things happen. I’m glad you got it fixed, my friend.

  389. Adam November 27, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    Thank you very much. This blog is very encouraging. I’m just hoping and praying their are no more delays with my recovery time.

  390. Jordana November 28, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    Hello Graham,

    I just had lower jaw surgery done on November 25th. I am finding it hard to sleep in a position that doesn’t put a lot of pressure on my jaw. Any suggestions? I also find it extremely difficult to suck through a straw. It hurts a lot and I just give up! I hope things get better soon or this is going to be a tough 6 weeks

  391. Graham November 28, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    Hi there Jordana!

    I had to sleep on my back with a heat pack on my face for the first 2-3 weeks. Like you, every resting position I tried put pressure on my jaw. Try sleeping on your back.

    As for sucking through a straw, you need to be careful with this activity because it may loosen blood clots in your mouth, and you definitely don’t want those to lift. I would forego using a straw for at least a month and just drink straight from cups. If you’re unable to drink from a cup right now, you’ll have to settle for a syringe for the first week or so.

    The first few days are the most frustrating, but life gets better quickly. I promise!

  392. Jordana November 29, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    Hi Graham,

    Thanks for responding so quickly! My mouth is completely wired shut so I cant really drink straight from a cup. I tried and well it was an epic fail and ran down my chin haha I wonder why my surgeon did not tell me not to use a straw. As for the syringe, can you buy small ones that are the size of straws?

  393. Graham November 29, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    You can most definitely purchase small syringes. I’m not sure where you’d go for these, however, because my surgeon provided me with 4 of them immediately following surgery.

    I’d call your surgeon and ask if they can give you a few syringes. At the very least, they’ll be able to point you in the right direction to find them.

  394. Mike December 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    I just had surgery two days ago (upper & lower) at the University of Iowa. They provided me with 4 large syringes (they cut 6″ sections of catheter tubing and attached to the syringes). This works excellent for placing liquids to the back of your mouth.

  395. Graham December 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    It’s nice when the hospital provides you with syringes, isn’t it? They should most definitely provide patients with everything they need for the first few days of recovery. I find it frustrating when they’re so cheap and inconsiderate that they won’t even give you a bump in the right direction.

    Enjoy these first few weeks, Mike!

  396. Scottie December 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    I had upper and lower jaw surgery on April 19th,2011. Recovery has gone pretty good. I’m pleased with the changes, all but one…..I’ve never regained any feeling in the roof of my mouth, it is still totally numb. I’m hoping it will some day return, but it’s looking doubtful without surgery to repair that damaged nerve.

  397. Graham December 1, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    That’s too bad, Scottie. That sounds like a fairly large residual numb area.

    I wouldn’t completely write off the possibility of feeling returning until a year or two has passed, but it’s also good to be prepared to live without it.

  398. TimBrown December 2, 2011 at 5:23 am #

    oh my goodness, there is alot of good advice on here graham, i just had my surgery about 16 hours ago and this pain is unbearable, I hope that i can get past my numb lips and cheeks to bruch my teeth sometime soon!

  399. Graham December 2, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    Good to meet you, Tim! I can’t believe you’re already back online only 16 hours after your operation.

    Make sure you rest lots for the first few days and surround yourself with family!

  400. hayley December 3, 2011 at 3:07 am #

    Hey thank you for replying even though I just saw it now I’m going to see the doctor on tuesday and he will explain all the details at first he said its only lower jaw but I have a feeling they will do something to my upper jaw too because it I so small. Bye x

  401. Mike December 3, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Message for Scottie – I agree with Graham, don’t give up yet. I just had upper/lower 4 days ago. A friend who had upper jaw only surgery several years ago said that the roof of his mouth took the longest to return to normal. He does still have some loss of feeling but the roof of his mouth did come back after a year.

  402. Madison December 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    I found you’re blog about a week ago and have been reading every update since. I just finished reading “The Final Product” and my can I say your results look awesome! (:
    I’m having a double jaw surgery for my underbite in about 2 weeks, on the 15th of December. I’m looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time. I was supposed to have the surgery in May but I didn’t want it to ruin my summer :p so we reschedulued it for December.
    How long did you have to wear rubber bands for?
    And how many appointments did you have with your surgeon after the surgery?
    And what did you eat/drink the first few days after your surgery?
    I absolutely love your blog (:
    And thanks for the help!

  403. Graham December 4, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    Hi Madison!

    First off, it’s nice to meet you! Exciting that you get to put this surgery behind you in a few weeks as well.

    As for your questions:

    1) I wore my rubber bands up until my braces were removed at 6 months post-op. I was allowed to remove them to eat, though, so they’re weren’t too inconvenient. You can also wear them less and less as time goes on.

    2) I had about 5-6 appointments with my surgeon following surgery. In fact, I have my final checkup on Tuesday, marking 1 year and 9 months!

    3) I kept my diet pretty simple: Ensure, tomato soup, and water. I had to stick to items that were drinkable through a syringe at first. Once I could drink from a cup, I started blending Chunky soup.

    Hope this helps! And good luck on the 15th!

  404. Kortni December 16, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    Great blog I can’t believe how long you’ve.been doing this but I’m so glad you are. It’s nice to see so many people who know what you are.going through. I am now about to be day 6 post op. I have had an unusual recovery so far most would say. I have had very little pain. Day 4 rather night 4 was the worst for me. I was strong and took no pain meds after day 3 and I made it through. The pains meds made me feel worse than the actual pain. I don’t think I can call it pain. It’s just been so uncomfortable with all the swelling. My neck and back are what hurts the most. This reclining position is what’s painful. If I had to choose between getting to sleep the way I want or being able to actually eat…I’d want to sleep on my side or stomach. I really miss sleeping on my side. That’s what I think I am looking forward to the most. That’s sad ain’t it?

    How long after surgery did you doctor say you dont have to sleep in a reclining positon?

  405. Graham December 17, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    I know what you mean when it comes to being forced to sleep certain ways, Kortni. It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

    I wasn’t able to sleep on my side again for about 6 weeks. The reason is because sleeping on your side or stomach puts unnecessary pressure on your jaw, and since the bone has not fused back together just yet, it could still move around (which would not be good).

    You’ve definitely got a few weeks of uncomfortable sleep left. It’ll be over before you know it, though. Trust me!

  406. lara December 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    hi i recently underwent my upper jaw surgery and 4 wisdom teeth extraction at the same time, today is day 6 after my surgery and i still have huge swollen in my face..i m applying icepack for my swollen face but i read here you have to use hot pack to reduce swelling, which one is correct?also have a lot of pain…

  407. Graham December 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    Hi Lara,

    My surgeon instructed me to use ice on my pack for the first 3 days followed by heat for the few weeks following the initial swelling. You should respect the instructions your surgeon provided you with, but if you’re out in the dark on this one, I’d recommend heat. For one, it’s easier to sleep with. Further to that, it’s better for your skin.

    If you’re experiencing pain, make sure you make use of whatever medications your surgeon prescribed for you. If they didn’t provide you with any pain killers and it’s really bothering you, give your surgeon a call and ask for a prescription. After all, it’s their duty to give you the tools you need to recover as comfortably as possible.

    I hope this helps!

  408. Brandon December 21, 2011 at 12:38 am #

    Hey,Everyone, I just got my jaw surgery 4 days ago, Saturday morning. I got my wisdom teeth taken out at the same time. A kid broke my jaw in half in a fight, I was trying to stick up for my self. Long story. I can only open up my mouth barely half an inch. I can barely put my finger in there, and then I wash my hands. But I’m on a liquid diet. I’m only 17 years old, and I had very swolen cheeks, I looked obese in the face lol, But the swelling has gone down a lot from icing my cheeks, I can’t feel my bottom lip, or my chin. Its so annoying when it itches, and it doesn’t do anything. I lost a lot of body fat I was suprised. I’m a big workout freak. I can’t wait to eat hard foods again. All I know im going to diet after I can eat again. I just want to know when I can open my mouth up all the way, and when will my bottom lip heal? How long were you guys on painkillers?

  409. Graham December 21, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    Hi Brandon, sounds like you’re got an interesting story in there somewhere, buddy.

    My bottom lip healed somewhere around the 5-week mark. It will heal as soon as you’re able to stay hydrated once again. Try drinking lots of water and applying a lot of lip balm to your bottom lip to keep it from cracking.

    Opening your mouth all the way is entirely dependent on how your surgery was performed and just how bad your situation was initially. It took me approximately 2.5 full months before I could open my mouth up wide once again.

    Once you’re able to stay eating solid foods again, your movement and the muscles in your jaw will return quite quickly (within a couple of weeks).

    Good luck, dude!

  410. Collin December 31, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    this site is very helpfull i just got surgery and imalmost 3 weeks into recovery and am starting to fall into a little bit of depression due to the fact that i miss eating solid food and cant do much. But the advice on here will help me push through and do more.
    thanks

  411. Collin December 31, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    and Brandon im almost 3 weeks in to healing and i’m using the pain killers a very little bit.

    Just using a little to help me sleep due to discomfort.

    Best of luck to you i feel were your coming from.

  412. Graham December 31, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    Collin, I feel your pain, brother. You’ll probably be eating again pretty soon considering you’re already 3 weeks into recovery.

    You’ll be back in action before you know it and you’ll miss the downtime. True story!

  413. AK January 1, 2012 at 12:28 am #

    Hey, this site is EXTREAMLY helpful.
    My surgery is in 24days and I’m still in two minds about it, I sit and watch videos on YouTube and before and after pics and read responses of other people which has made me rather scared and hesitant about this whole operation. I think I am only having my lower jaw moved, I’ve got an appointment with my surgeon next week by then I will know exactly what is being moved lol.
    My biggest fear is missing out on work I’m currently in my second year at university studying law and will have to miss an immense amount of work. Which has led me to think is this surgery really worth the hassle? I’m jepordising my studies just so I can look better.
    How quickly will I be able to talk? I know it varies from person to person but I have moots (debating) exams and oral presentations which are in April/May I think… So roughly 3months after my operation, will I be able to talk properly?
    I think here in the uk they don’t usually use wires to shut the mouth they use elastic bands instead, do you know when I will be able to remove them and how quickly will I be able to brush my teeth?

    After reading all the posts it seems as if it will take over my whole life =\ several people have mentioned that they felt week etc, I hope I have the energy to study from home =\.

    Lastly, will you honestly recommend this operation, you must be over the moon with the end result and the whole journey is worth it, I understand that, but are the end results so good so as to jepordise the present?
    I’m I’m two minds and talking to friends and family doesn’t help, they aren’t very supportive of this operation, they in fact don’t want me to go ahead with it. I’m so glad to have found thi site, I can read responses of people that have actually gone through this. I honestly feel like I’m the only one going through this. I’m very anxious and nervous…. And I’m usually a very confident person.

    Please help =\
    X

  414. Graham January 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    Hi AK!

    I understand your reservations with this operation. It does involve a pretty intense recovery and quite literally renders you speechless for a few weeks, but you need to recognize that it only happens once. The moment you’re healed, your life will go on and you won’t have to think about it every again.

    You likely won’t be able to give a presentation for 5-6 weeks following surgery. I would advise you to have the operation in the summer when you don’t need to put your studies on hold.

    It sounds like your overall question relates to whether or not I would honestly recommend this operation. I seriously recommend the surgery to anyone whose jaw is bothering them in terms of function or appearance. It’s a one-time fix that will last your entire life, and the 3-month recovery is really just a minor blip in your timeline.

    Go for it! Just get it over with and then you can move on and not have to think about it anymore! =)

  415. Collin January 1, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    Hey Graham I was wondering when did the feeling come back in your bottom lip and chin?
    They will itch but i cant feel or figure how to itch them , haha.

  416. Jessica January 1, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    Hey! I had upper and lower jaw surgery about 5 weeks ago. I was wired shut for 3 weeks and have been banded shut since then… and yes Im so hungry now!! haha

    The good news is I get the bands taken off on Friday…but I’m kind of nervous :/ I’m wondering if it’s painful to open your mouth again after being banded shut for so long. What kind of tips can you offer for after getting the bands off?

  417. Graham January 2, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    Collin, most of my feeling had returned by the two-month mark, but residual feeling didn’t come back until about six months following surgery.

    That phantom itch is super frustrating, isn’t it? Haha!

  418. Graham January 2, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    Jessica, being hungry is not fun at all, is it? As for having your bands removed, rejoice! Not only do you not have to wear bands any longer (quite an accomplishment, let me assure you), but you shouldn’t be in any pain. You physically won’t be able to open your mouth to the point that it would hurt because your muscles will be tight, so that should govern your movements accordingly.

    Enjoy your upcoming freedom! =)

  419. Collin January 2, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    thanks for the input and exactly haha

  420. Elizabeth January 3, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    Its bern recommended for me to have this surgery since i was 14, and now that im one month short of 28, im finally doing it. I go in on the 12th….I’m nervous because in general I always have a habit of opening my mouth and moving my jaw from side to side….and I obviously won’t be able to do that for some time. I have 2 questions: it may sound stupid, but…did anyone have anxiety about the anesthesia? I’m nervous I’ll feel something or be awake or aware.
    Second- I’m a singer. How long do yOu think it’ll be until I can belt out a tune with no reserve again?
    Thanks ;) Elizabeth

  421. Graham January 3, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    Elizabeth, it’s good to hear that you’re finally going to get this operation over with!

    I wouldn’t worry about the anesthesia part of the surgery. Anesthesiologists know what they’re doing and they’ll ensure you’re unconscious before letting the surgeon make their way to the front lines.

    As for singing, I was able to sing comfortably again at approximately two months post-op. It sounds like a long time, but it’s totally worthwhile, I assure you!

  422. Jill January 10, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    OK, I am now really freaked out about doing this. I have put it off for a very long time. Can any one share why they have had to had the surgery? I have TMJ and Sleep apenia. I also grind my teeth. I am seeing a specialist in the dual surgery in about a month in TX. I am hoping I only need to have one procudure vs the double. A specialist and family friend who can do the one surgery insisted I get the second opion before it was determined what I actually need. I am freaked out because either way I will not be having the surgery where I live in Chicago. My family lives in FL, so at least there I would not have to live in a hotel.

    any advice?

  423. Jill January 10, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    forgot to ck the notify me comments box

    have a great night all

  424. Liz January 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    Jill, I feel your pain. This surgery has been recommended from when I was 16, and now that I’m one month short of 28…I’ll be going in on Thursday morning! I think it’s a good idea to get it all taken care of….everybody I’ve talked to has said that it’s well worth it and even though it may take a bit of a process, the results are always great. Good luck sweetie.
    Wish me luck everyone! (can’t say I’m not a little nervous)

  425. Graham January 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Jill, my recommendation is to go ahead with the surgery if you suffer from TMJ and sleep apnea. The recovery is a mere 3 months out of your entire lifetime and it will not only cause you to smile more and breathe easier, but it may also prevent future pains and burdens.

    I’m not sure a second opinion is even necessary if you have both TMJ and sleep apnea. I was a victim of neither of those circumstances and the surgery still benefitted me greatly. =)

  426. Jill January 12, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    Liz

    Good luck

    Thanks to all for your comments

    Jill

  427. Liz January 13, 2012 at 1:47 am #

    Thanks Jill
    I’m about 14 hours post op, still on hospital…(thank god for iPhones). Can’t say I feel great, but I’m glad to have the actual surgery behind me and to start the road of recovery. Good luck to you!

  428. Marissa January 13, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    i had my upper jaw surgery on the 12th. im getting LOTS of nose bleeds, and starting to get bruising on my cheeks, im also geting a lot of swelling inside my mouth. and i was wondering if theres anything that could reduce the swelling bruising and nose bleeds.

  429. Graham January 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    Hi Marissa,

    Swelling, nose bleeds, and bruising are a normal part of the recovery process, unfortunately.

    To reduce the nose bleeds, the only thing you can do is to refrain from blowing or cleaning your nose. It’s frustrating, but if you don’t disturb your nostrils, they should stop bleeding.

    As for the swelling and bruising, try laying down every few hours with a hot pack on your face and neck. These things will go away naturally, but they’ll be sticking around for a few more weeks.

    It’s kind of just a waiting game at this point. If you think there may be complications with your nose, give your surgeon a call.

    Good luck and I hope these things clear up soon for you!

  430. Liz January 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Graham,
    I also just had my surgery on the 12th…..on top of the claustrophobic feeling of being all banded shut, it’s my neck that bothers me the most. It’s SO sore and bruised. Also, the greater part of the left side of my head is numb. How long does this all last? Also can anybody tell me some of the stuff you all ate? So far I’m just eating broths and smoothies but I’m really starting to hunger for something more :/

  431. Graham January 14, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    Headaches and bruising will be the worst for the first two weeks. You’re definitely in the most difficult part of the recovery right now. Just get through this next week and life will start looking better after that. I promise!

    As for food, I lived on Ensure, soup, and smoothies, but you can honestly blend just about anything up as long as you’re able to drink it down. Just add milk to things like hamburger patties, potatoes, and vegetables and see how they taste.

  432. Mike J January 16, 2012 at 6:34 am #

    Great site.
    Just on day 5 post op. Both upper and lower, along with chin and nasal work.

    Having a touch of claustrophobia…this procedure has been a nightmare of mine for some time. I had braces when I was younger and wimped out then.

    One thing that saved my sanity…Suction…use it at hospital, and get a home unit. I haven’t used it a lot at home but it helps knowing it’s there.

    DO NOT BLOW YOUR NOSE…hard. I wasn’t told to avoid doing it, and despite common sense, gave it a healthy shot. My left eye blew out immediately. Stupid.

    Syringes suck but so far my sense of humor has helped myself and my friends get comfortable with this situation. I look like Quagmire right now…and know it’ll get better

  433. Graham January 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Mike, the fact that you liken yourself to Quagmire just made my day. That’s probably a fairly accurate comparison for most of us.

    Definitely avoid blowing your nose for at least a full month. It’s frustrating, but it’s for your own good.

    You’ve only got one week of claustrophobic torture left and then things will start looking up really quickly!

  434. vicky January 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    hi im getting my surgery in 2weeks. now i worried is that my face is going to look really bad with the brusing. How long will it take for the bruising to go away?

  435. Graham January 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    Hi Vicky,

    I personally never had any bruising, so I’m not entirely sure. Most people say it goes away within the month. You can rest assured that, by the the time you have enough energy to take on the world again, your bruising will have fled. =)

  436. Kate January 18, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    Hi. This blog has helped me so much, everyones own experiences and opinions about jaw surgery. I had top and bottom jaw surgery to correct an over bite, which I have braces but were unable to correct this problem.
    I’m about 10 days since the surgery now and you’re right, the first week was the worst. I really questioned myself why I had done this. Everything has gotten better now, and I’m finally starting to like my new apperance. I’m still all swollen and chubby in the cheek area, when should that start to go down? I have school in 3 weeks..
    Hope it’s gone by then.
    I’m able to bring my lips together, yet they’re not comfortable like that, is that normal? Will they eventually settle together?
    I’m still not comfortable with brushing my teeth, any tips on keeping them clean besides mouth washes, cause I’m unable to swish it around.
    I can chew a little bit, just uncomfortable. When should chewing become easier?
    One thing that is bothering me is the fact that my head is so full and there is so much pressure in my head, constantly makes me feel dizzy and tired. Is that normal? Will the feeling go away?
    My speech is still slow. When I feel great, I talk slot and that leads to my jaw getting sore so now I don’t talk as much. Hopefully this improves considering I have school in 3 weeks!
    Also, I’m dribbling ALOT! and coughing up blood still. Grr!
    All I want to be able to do is sleep during the night, but yet I still wake up. Help!
    And, yesterday I just got elastics on the front teeth connecting bottom to top. I hate them. Please tell me they get better!

    Wow I think I wrote alot. Thank you!!

  437. Graham January 19, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    Kate, you have a lot of worries right now, don’t you? I can assure you that everything you mentioned will either go away or get better with time.

    You’ll be noticeably swollen for about 2 months, but people at school won’t mind, especially if you’ve got another 3 weeks off before you head back. You’ll be able to speak clearly by then, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

    Your lips will settle into their place once the swelling is gone. Chewing will become easier at around the 1-month mark (2 months if you have a splint in). Your feeling of dizziness will go away in the next couple of weeks. You only feel dizzy due to a lack of energy.

    You’re still in the early stages of recovery. In another 2 weeks, life will begin to look a lot better! =)

  438. Liz January 19, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    I’m 8 days post op lower jaw surgery …wired shut. The left side of my face is healing quite nice..the swelling is going down and it barely hurts. However, the right side is so bad! It’s twice the size of the left, painful even with swallowing, and hot. Is it normal to have one side progress faster/easier? If the right side were keeping up with the left side, I’d almost look normal!

    Surprisingly, I almost don’t feel hungry anymore although it’s still ridiculously hard being back in class surrounded by everyone opening up their snacks and eating them :(

  439. Graham January 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    Ah, the joys of having a lopsided face! It is completely normal for your swelling to decrease at disproportionate rates, Liz.

    You’re going to be swollen for at least another full month, but I promise it will go away. =)

  440. Thej January 19, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    Hey guys, reporting in from Australia
    This blog has been really insightful!! I am three days post op for lower and upper jaw surgery. Primarily to fix my underbite.
    It’s so reassuring to read about the experiences everyone else has had and how you have come through stronger!! I am in a state of depression.. I just have no energy to do anything, my head constantly feels like its going to explode cause of the pressure, my teeth are always tight and stretched out, and cAn barely breathe but even then it seems like my pain isn’t as bad as some of yours.

    I have bands on my teeth but they aren’t to tight so I could pretty much eat soft foods straight from the get go. My parents have been really supportive and mum has been cooking me up some amazing broths and smoothies which I am really great full for! I’ve lost about 3kgs so far.

    Reading about you guys having your teeth wired shut for weeks and being unable to drink from anything but syringes makes me appreciate more what I can do. Graham, I read you couldn’t suck from a straw for a month but I could suck from day 3. I guess the severity of our operations differed a lot hey.

    Thanks a lot for making this blog forum to discuss our problems.. It really helps to thereto at I’m not alone and that there are others out there who are going through the same problems.

  441. Graham January 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    Nice to meet you, Thej!

    The first couple of weeks are most certainly a depressing time for anybody. You need to understand that you’re currently in the most difficult part of the entire recovery.

    I promise you that in two weeks’ time, you’ll be feeling a lot more positive and have regained a substantial amount of energy.

    Just continue to appreciate your parents’ care and go for a walk a few times each day. Find a TV series that you can pass the time with as well. Soon, you’ll be a few weeks into recovery and you’ll be feeling a lot better!

  442. Randy January 21, 2012 at 12:55 am #

    Hey Graham,
    I had upper and lower surgery as well. I am 20 years older than you, which might explain some of the differences in recovery than you have writen about. However, there were many similarities too.

    I read your blog before and after going in for my surgery and I found it to be very entertaining as well as informative. You are a very cleaver writer. Anyway…one of the things that struck me was the fact that you were even able to think straight and write about it from the first day. My experience was complete hell for the first week or two. I was in a lot of pain, in a medicated fog, and the only thing I could think about was all the regret of doing the surgery. I don’t remember being in a state of mind clear enough to keep a blog going. So, kudos to you for doing it. This may be an age thing. At 46, we don’t bounce back as quickly as when we were 20 something.

    Now, I am six weeks post-op and feeling pretty good now. I want to state or restate my appreciation for your blog. It really is helpful for people going through this at any age.

    Bye the way.. My regrets have faded and my final product is more in focus now and it looks pretty good!!

    Thanks a lot,
    Randy

  443. Graham January 21, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    It’s great to hear that you’re feeling good now, Randy! I also appreciate that you’re excited about the final results that are quickly becoming a reality. It’s nice when people accept that everything is going to work out alright. =)

    Keep with it for another month or two and you’ll be in tip-top shape, my friend!

  444. Eileen January 22, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

    Hey Graham,

    I’ve just had double jaw surgery 5 days ago, like you I had a severe underbite, but I also have a cleft palate (you can search it up on google but the images aren’t very pleasant =/), so I was probably operated a little differently than you.

    By the way I’m 17 years old, and 2012 is my year where I take my final secondary school exam into university. I’m worried that the recovery time may affect my performance.

    I’m going back to school in about 2 weeks, which means I miss 1.5 weeks of school, and I’m kind of worried that my current swelling might impact.. =(
    My swelling hasn’t calmed down much, I think it was because on the first 2 days I didn’t apply ice much because the hospital required me to hang an icepack around my jaws, but the ice was very heavy which resulted for me, neck pains.

    I stayed in hospital for 3 nights. The first night I was feeling really nauseous and only slept for 3hrs after vomiting really heavily during the night. It was really bad experience. Second day, swelling increased dramatically. Now it has calmed down a bit, and I’m currently putting ice as much as possible. But when I searched on the web, I found some people saying that ice helps, others saying that moist heat helps. I don’t know who to trust. What helped you the most?

    Also, my teeth tied shut with elastics and I can barely open my mouth, but I am having my 1 week checkup tomorrow, and having the elastics removed, so that’s good. But, so far the foods I have been eating were just my normal foods blended together, like beef. It was really thick and hard to suck on.. what do you recommend me eat?

    Also, I’ve read that the operation impacts on the appearance of your nose and cheeks etc. How much does it change? My cleft palate has already impacted on my nose (it has lost a bone and considerably flat), but I like my face shape atm. =( I hope it won’t change much!

    Anyway, your blog has been really inspiring for me and if you could give reply and answer my questions or give me any tips I would be so grateful!! =D

    Thanks,

    Eileen

  445. Eileen January 22, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    Oh I forgot to mention, in my surgery I also got my 4 wisdom teeth taken out. So that means I don’t ahve to do the operation twice!

    Eileen

  446. Graham January 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    Hi Eileen!

    That’s crazy that you had your wisdom teeth extracted during your jaw surgery! Your body must have not even known which end was up for the first few days following that operation!

    As for your questions…

    1. Your swelling won’t affect your ability to perform well in school. By the third or fourth week, you should have a considerable amount of energy back and be able to think straight with no problems.

    2. I used heat packs on my face because that’s what my surgeon told me to do. I found they increased my comfort level a lot. I have no experience with ice packs.

    3. I found blended foods too thick to eat at first, so I stuck with tomato soup and Ensure. Once I was able to drink from a cup, I started blending Chunky soups for added flavor.

    4. The shape of your face will certainly change, but people will still recognize you perfectly alright. You’ll adjust to your new look within a few months of your surgery, so don’t let it bother you at first. Also, swelling will keep you from seeing your true face for another 2-3 months, so don’t pass any judgements on yourself until that time.

    Good luck as you move into your second week of recovery!

  447. lori January 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    Today was my first post op appointment and Im not going to lie, as nice as it was to brush without elastics I was so sad because I feel like I have an open bite and my teeth do not linr up. Also my left nerve was punctured so chances of getting feeling back in my bottom lip and left cheek are super slim if next to none. Did your teeth line up right off the bat?

  448. Graham January 25, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    Lori, you sounds identical to me! I was left with an open bite on both sides and a lack of feeling in half of my bottom lip following surgery.

    My feeling will probably never return, but my bite has closed up on both sides. I’m confident you teeth will come back together as well. It will probably take a year or so, but it will happen. =)

  449. lori January 26, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    It will probably take a year you say… that means a year with braces I suppose hey? I’m happy to hear that you can tell me that my bite will line up, let’s hope that it does. I started all of this with an open bite and the three years that I had braces on prior to surgery has really lessened the size of the gap between my teeth so I’m confident that if it can make that much of a difference, then working with what we have here isn’t going to be that big of an issue. It’s just hard you know? I somewhat just imagined that it was going to all come together once the surgery was complete.. had hope to even take off the braces in 3 months post op… ha. I do enjoy reading your posts, thank you for giving hope. This week will be by far alot better than last as I am not feeling as dizzy as I was before… has alot to do with the lack of nutrients going in my body… that’s something I need to work on is drinking the Ensure stuff that I have. My baba made a delicious soup for me that went down really easy but drinking those sweet drinks is really hard…

  450. lori January 26, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    I had a pretty intense lisp too while I had an open bite and I noticed that you talked about having a lisp… is your lisp still evident?

  451. lori January 26, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    Oh and… monetary stuff… did your insurance pay for it? I paid 5 grande for my double jaw… turns out its 7500 now!! And I work for the government and not even a grande was covered…

  452. Graham January 26, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    The recovery is the most difficult part of the entire ordeal, but you’ll get through it and be smiling before you know it.

    My lisp is completely gone and my speech is a lot clearer post-op.

    As for monetary issues, I don’t have any dental coverage, so the actual operation on both jaws cost me $5000 here in Edmonton, Alberta. The price is entirely dependent on your location, your surgeon, and your health coverage.

  453. lori January 26, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    Who was your surgeon?

  454. Graham January 26, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    Hi name is Saranjeev Lalh. You can read about him here: http://home.dent.ualberta.ca/people/lalhs.htm.

  455. lori January 26, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    He did my surgery last week.

  456. Elizabeth January 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    Omg my braces were 6,000 and the surgery itself was a little over 30,000.

    I’m two weeks post op today…actually just recovering from an infection I had which is why the right side was much more swollen and painful. I have a drain sewn in the side of my mouth now…hopefully getting that removed tomorrow. I find that even though the days and nights of pain are coming to a halt, I find myself getting depressed. I come from a large Italian family and our lives center around food. I can’t seem to get over the mental weirdness of blending normal food, therefore I don’t have a lot of variation in my diet….broths, juices and smoothies. It’s depressing me to do anything these days. I have 3 more weeks to go until I’m unbanded and can start the soft diet. Once you got the bands off, was speaking easy or painful? I ask because the day after I get my bands off I need to return to the clinical setting (I’m a nursing student) and must be able to converse like I did before the surgery. One more thing….I dropped 10 pounds the first week and have not dropped a single pound during the second week. WHY?! The anticipated weight loss is one of the only things I have keeping a smile on my face these days….

  457. Graham January 26, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    Lori, that’s really cool that we had the same surgeon! It’s a seriously small world!

  458. Graham January 26, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    Elizabeth, my braces were $7,000, but I guess I received a better deal on the surgery. That sounds expensive!

    When I was allowed to start taking the bands off, I found speaking a lot easier. My jaw would still ache at the end of days where I talked often, but if you only speak a modest amount, you’ll be alright. Talking is great exercise for your jaw as well, so it’s all for the better in the long run.

    You’ll probably be perfectly fine speaking with patients in your clinic when you return to work in a few weeks. The maximum time I recommend anyone takes off from work is a full month, and you’ll be at 5 weeks post-op by the time you return.

    Also, you’re right at the tail end of the worst window during recovery. Just be strong and keep yourself busy these next few days and you’ll notice things become a lot easier very soon! Make sure you’re seeing your friends again at this point. They’ll accept your current situation and it will make you feel loved and happy. I mean that! =)

  459. lori January 26, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    It is a small world. I am very pleased with Dr. Lahl. Mark Knueful is my orthodontist as well. I am not sure if I have the spelling of his last name right. I am very impressed with how genuine and pleasent Dr. Lahl is. Having a caring surgeon make this alot easier. Thanks for answering my questions. I had a very good day today with friends and family. The best thing about me is that I really dont care what people think, so I have been out and about which helps the days go quicker.. especially since I’m used to being on the go every day and when I’m not at work I’m training for races.. so the last week has been very hard, very long… but it is all in my head. Alot of self talk and good people make this much much easier than I could ever imagine. I’m sure that I will have more questions for you, so talk soon.

  460. lori January 27, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    The back of my top lip is significantly white and painful. Is this normal ten days post op? And my upper front teeth seem to be biting over top of my botton teeth. This worries me becauae I feel like my teeth should be more lined up? Can you tell me that this is normal please. Haha.

  461. Graham January 28, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    Your teeth are in the correct position. Your jaws will seem a bit out of place until your swelling goes away, so don’t worry about anything for the first two months.

    Your lip is likely painful due to the stitches ripping open once in a while. Do your best to keep your lips moist with lip balm and try not to laugh or smile for a few more days so they aren’t stretched.

    You’re almost at the point where life becomes easy again. Hang in there for a few more days, Lori!

  462. Joanne January 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    Hi, just wondering how long you had your braces on after the surgery?

  463. Graham January 30, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    I wore my braces for 9 months following the operation. Most orthodontists encourage patients to stick with their braces for 6 – 12 months post-op.

  464. Joanne January 31, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    Why such a length of time? Just looking forward to this part of my life being over.

  465. Graham January 31, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

    Leading up to the operation, your orthodontist will create small gaps between certain teeth so the surgeon has room to cut into the bone.

    When the surgery is complete, you must wear braces for another 6 – 12 months to close those gaps and ensure your teeth are in the correct position with regards to the new placement of your jaw.

    It’s frustrating, but it will be worthwhile when it’s all over. You have my word. =)

  466. Elizabeth February 1, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    Heya
    I wish I had seen this site before my op!
    I am now over a year since my op and i had upper and lower jaws done, with some slight work done to my nose. I have been reading past comments from yourself and other people and was wondering if you have had any problems with your jaw since. As i said it has now been over a year since i had surgery and i keep having a few problems, the lower left hand side keeps swelling up at various times during the day and it is still quite painful even to touch. I can’t sleep on it very well so it’s still quite awkward to sleep at night. My upper gums are still slightly numb and still quite painful to brush. I only had my braces on for 5months after surgery and was off work for a total of 2months as i work in an airport and have to interact with passengers all the time. I was mainly wondering if you had experienced any of these problems so long after having your surgery done. I have recently been to see my surgeon and he took x-rays and had a look inside my mouth, touching my gums and said although it is still quite sore there are no problems with any of my brackets on my jaw and no sign of infection. He said the only solution he can come up with is muscle spasms, but i don’t feel like this has helped me in anyway and i am desparate for an answer. I would be happy if you can relate to this and maybe shine some light on my situation. Thankyou

  467. Graham February 1, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    Hi Elizabeth!

    That’s interesting that you’re experiencing pain an entire year later. The only thing I can think of that would cause swelling at this point would be a reaction to one of the brackets, but it sounds like your surgeon ruled this out already. I wonder if your jaw was set in a manner that puts a bit of torque on the bone. That would be unfortunate, but might also explain your pain.

    In my opinion, it is your surgeon’s responsibility to ensure you can live comfortably following this operation. I would go see them again and be persistent that you’d like to have this fixed.

    If you figure anything out, please let me know. It’d be good knowledge to have should anyone else experience pain this late in the recovery.

    Sorry I’m unable to shed more light on your situation. Best of luck in figuring out what’s causing this discomfort.

  468. Jason February 1, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    Hey Graham,

    I’ve had my jaw surgery about 2 weeks ago and my swelling has died down quite alot from before. But my face is still really chubby, and still not the original size; my face was really slim before. Does the surgery widen your face? And my nose is widened and really turned up and I look like a pig :( I’m asian so it was wide and pretty turned up before. It’s really turned up that there’s a pretty wide gap between my upper lip and the tip of my nose; it looks really bad. Will it come back down? Another thing, my mouth appears smaller… and the corners of my mouth have black scars, from the operation. Will that eventually go away? Other than that, I’m eating fine and wearing elastics.

    Thanks!

  469. Graham February 2, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    Hi Jason,

    I wouldn’t pass any judgements on your appearance if you’re only 2 weeks into your recovery. Your face is going to look disproportionate and out of line for another month or two still.

    Even though it seems like most of your swelling is gone, I assure you it is not. Swelling will stick around until about the 3-month mark.

    Just be patient and your face will return to normal over the next couple of months. The shape of your face will be a little bit different, but you’ll adjust and grow to appreciate it. Trust me!

    Patience, my friend!

  470. Abby February 3, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    Hi there, firstly this is a great website and I wish I had come across before my surgery to prepare, but all good I guess!

    I had jaw surgery last Wednesday to correct my underbite (single jaw surgery) and I also had my 4 wisdoms removed at the same time! Crazy I know but It wasnt as bad as I thought…

    They didnt need to wire my jaws shut or anything like that so Im able to eat soft foods – mainly just soups, yoghurt, icecream, oats etc and Im luckily able to talk – not properly ofcourse but i think at least enough to be understood lol

    I did feel very weak and just down the first week but slowly getting better.

    I was pretty swollen the first week, especially on the right side of my face and it turns out its because most of the work was done on that side but the swelling is slowly going away which is nice! Still numb around the lower mouth/chin area but that needs time I heard to go away…

    The sucky thing is that I still have noticeable bruising especially under my chin which started as a dark purple colour – my suregon said its normal but I was worried it wouldnt go away…Ive noticed its kinda fading which is good but it did worry me…

    And also, I luckily didnt experience much bleeding post surgery, just the first couple of days, but I noticed last night and this morning, when brushing my teeth and using my mouth wash that I was bleeding – but it wasnt the red blood colour, it was like a watery blood..I dont know if that makes sense? lol But i just wanted to check if that was normal?

    Sorry if I dragged this on…but your assistance is appreciated :)

  471. Bree February 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    I just had my initial appt with the surgeon today. Turns out they have to do the top as well….quite unexpected news!! I have about two months to settle into the idea, but im not sure it has truly hit me yet. The doc said that i will have titanium plates on the upper. Is this norm for everyone? Will there be exterior stitching? I am confident that I have made the right choice in doing this surgery, but one cant help the anxiety of their brain going a million different directions!! I am excited for the most part….I just hope my husband has the same confidence in his care taking abilities. A lot of people I have spoken with say it was harder to be the care taker than the one having the surgery ( I say, let them have the surgery before they go talking! lol.) But, I can sympathize….helping someone who cant talk could be frustrating.

  472. Abby February 6, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    I just realised I may have over-reacted in my previous post (on Feb 3 2012) about the mouth bleeding – Just ignore, as the bleeding has gone again. Im now nearly at the 2 week mark and things seem to be going OK at the moment. Im getting used to the soft foods/liquid diet and the annoying upright sleeping positions.

    The first week was definitely the hardest, but Im slowly adjusting and recovering. And the swelling and bruising is reducing which is great :)

    The only thing at the moment is the weird crazy tingling/sensations in my bottom lip. It can get really annoying as sometimes it feels like this stretching and moving feeling is going on in there but I know I just got to give it some time and hopefully it will settle… :)

  473. Graham February 7, 2012 at 1:59 am #

    Hello Abby! I apologize for not replying to your previous post. I seem to have missed it somehow.

    That’s good to hear that your bleeding has subsided. Blood comes standard following an operation like this.

    You’re lucky that you’ve been able to eat soft foods right from the very beginning of your recovery. I hope you appreciate that! =)

    The tingling sensations will most definitely go away over the next month or so. It’s similar to what happens when your leg has fallen asleep and is just beginning to regain its feeling. Except that it happens all the time. And you can’t walk it off.

    You sound like you’re recovering at a pretty rapid rate. Good luck these next few weeks!

  474. Graham February 7, 2012 at 2:02 am #

    Hi Bree,

    It sounds like you have a small mental battle to win during these next couple of months. I highly recommend the surgery if your bite has been bothering you for more than a few years.

    Having titanium plates screwed into your bone during the surgery is perfectly normal. In fact, it’s expected. When the surgeon cuts into your jawbone, he uses the tiny little plates to screw the pieces back together so that they’re held in place while your body fuses the bone into a single piece again.

    You won’t have any exterior stitches. All of the work takes place inside your mouth.

    Looking forward to hearing from you in a couple of months!

  475. Abby February 7, 2012 at 3:30 am #

    Thanks for your feedback Graham. Much appreciated :)

    Yeh I know, I definitely am grateful that I was put on the soft food diet so I could atleast open my mouth. No chewing ofcourse, so I still miss real food so much! haha Another 3 more weeks on this and my surgeon will determine if I still stick to this or if I can move on to chewing. But I know some of you guys were wired shut and had to use syringes etc so I can imagine it would of been harder.

    But what Ive learned so far, you have to be mentally strong and stay positive through out the whole thing otherwise you’ll fall apart. I found it so hard the first week, I was like ‘why did I do this, I hate this’ lol But it does slowly get better as the swelling and bruising reduces and you just somehow adjust, so Im just going to try and stay positive and hope for the best.

    I hope everyone else who goes through this does the same because it will get better. Its not as bad as you may think :)

    Ok enough ranting from me! Its so cool having this blog though for other people to share and voice any concerns. I hope you recovered well from your own jaw surgery experience :)

  476. Graham February 7, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    You’re exactly right, Abby. Recovering from this operation relies on mental stamina a lot more than it relies on physical strength. I think most things in life follow suit as well.

  477. Bree February 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    Thanks for getting back to me. I think i was in major meltdown mode when i wrote that previous message….It was all of 4 hours fresh in my mind!! I have shared this website with my husband and i think he will be appreciative of everyones input to help him along the way. There is a lot of information on here for the caretaker- as well as us going thru the healing process. I can not thank you enough for the peace of mind you have provide us, Graham!

    I was blessed with the opportunity to acquire this surgery for free thru The Army (i paid for the braces tho) and i think i should not “kick a gift horse in the mouth”. I think we all have doubts going in about what on earth we just signed up for….but all of these people have given me such an amazing sense of relief!!

    **more to come this Spring…….

  478. CJ Fray February 7, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    so this is to everyone i had this opperation a week ago in the first with the right medication and a lil streath you can get past the worst of it. i also found that you need to enjoy yourself so get alot of of stuf you want to do. i also fond that after a couple days eating noodles and even french toast is a possible it also give you the feeling on eating real food its great. yet the worst part of this entire ordeal has no been the pain nor the fact that im still not allowed to do much yet as i sit here bored and tired of not being allowed to do all the fun activities i love to do that are just to impratical for me to do for the near future i come to wonder how long the numbness in my face will last, its not merely the drulling or the small lack of facial movement but the sensation i have to scratch my face. so could anyone help me in my search to find an answer.

  479. Graham February 8, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    CJ, I agree with you when you say that the most difficult part of the recovery is the fact that you’re unable to do much for the first few weeks. This is more of a mental struggle than a physical one.

    Your face will be numb for about a month, so you’ll have to put up with your phantom itches for a few more weeks yet.

  480. mary February 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Hi, I just had my surgery on Thursday on my upper and lower. I know I have plates and screws in. Is it common feeling like you can’t breathe, or perhaps I have a cold. My bands came off today but I am having difficulty placing the rubber bands in because it is so painful to pull the mouth back, did anyone else experience this? Also, just trying to suck juice in through a straw is difficult, any suggestions? I just can’t wait for this to be behind me. Thanks.

  481. Graham February 8, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    Hi Mary,

    The first few weeks will leave you feeling quite claustrophobic. This is perfectly normal due to your swelling and the fact that you cannot blow your nose. It’s frustrating, but you’ll survive.

    Replacing your bands is difficult for everyone the first few times. It took me about a week before I could efficiently take me elastics out and put them back in.

    There’s also a good chance that you won’t be able to suck through straws for well over a month post-op. It’s difficult to create the necessary suction when your lips are numb and swollen.

    You’re currently in the most difficult phase of your recovery. I assure you that if you can get through this next week and a half, your life will improve greatly! =)

  482. CJ Fray February 8, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    Graham, i jut would like to say thi is an absouletly wonderful cite youve made and i speak for us all when i say we appericate this very much and it is very useful

  483. Elizabeth February 10, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    Hi all…
    I’m officially past the 4 week mark now, still wired shut…16 pounds lighter :) I’m going to meet one of the doctors on Sunday night to take the bands off and see if my jaw is stable? I’ll need to sit around for 45 minutes or so to determine this? (I dont know why a simple xray wont do). Anyway…im very VERY nervous that it wont be ready and that I’ll need to wear the bands for another few weeks. If that were the case, I’ll need to drop out of nursing school with only 8 months left and it’d just really screw a bunch of things up. Originally I thought this whole surgical process would only be 4 weeks, but i never accounted for all the other possibilites. My question is: in your experience, when your bands were removed, was everyhing ok? If all goes perfectly, I’ll be able to take them off to eat and then I’ll need to put them back on for however many hours during the day. How long does the intermittent band wearing last? Also, I’d say about 60% of my swelling has gone down (most rapidly in the first 2 weeks), but the remaining swelling seems stubbornly stagnant! When will I look like I dont have chipmunk cheeks?

    Hopefully I get to eat my first soft food on Sunday night…what should I eat?? I never knew I’d be so excited.

  484. Graham February 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Losing 16 lbs is quite a feat! Weight loss is a pretty cool by-product of this recovery, isn’t it?

    When my surgeon gave me the go-ahead to start removing my bands to eat, everything worked out perfectly. The most difficult part was actually learning how to hook them back in. I wore my bands right until the day I had my braces removed. Most orthodontists recommend that you wear the bands as long as possible to finish moving your teeth into place.

    Your swelling should be cleared up by the two-month mark for the most part.

    I vote you eat Kraft Dinner as your first meal (or something cheesy)!

  485. Abigail February 15, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    Hi Graham,

    I have not yet had surgery but will be having it some time in the near future. I will be having work done on my bottom jaw. I currently have braces to make my teeth straight and turn some the right ways.

    I have had a quick talk from the surgeon but that was quite a while ago. I was wondering if you could give me any information about what you took into hospital with you as its different for every op you have? (i have already had three ops…)How long did you have to stay in hospital for (even though im geussing it would be shoter than your time spent there as yours was more complex). How did you mentally cope witth not talking? And did you lose much wieght?

    I live in Endland btw so i know the proceedure may be slighlty different but any advice would be grateful.

    This site is AMAZING btw

  486. Graham February 15, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    Hi Abigail!

    I didn’t bring anything but my phone and ID to the hospital with me. You likely won’t have the mental stamina to read or use a computer for the first few days, so there’s not much point in bringing any entertainment with you.

    I stayed in the hospital for 2 nights and honestly spent most of it sleeping, attempting to eat, and walking around. A few walks each day, coupled with the interesting task of eating, will probably keep you busy all day long.

    You’ll be able to communicate within the first few days, but your words will be difficult to understand and you’ll have to talk slowly.

    I lose almost 30 lbs, however most people only lose 5 – 10 lbs. I was gaining weight prior to the operation in hopes that it would leave me at my natural weight afterwards, but it turns out I simply lost all of the extra weight on top of the expected 5 – 10 lbs.

    You’ll do great, Abigail! Just focus on relaxing and walking around as much as possible for the first week. =)

  487. Kathy February 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    I had double jaw surgery 17 days ago and have really been enjoying reading about your experience. I look forward to your sense of humour every day and it is great to hear about how others have dealt with this interesting little blip in life. To date, my experience has been similar to yours with one exception: I have been eating blenderized meals. Day 6 my husband made me toast and eggs with mayo and mustard blended with some chicken broth. I tell you it was the best “meal” I ever had in my life! We figured out that you can blend up just about anything if you add some broth (chicken, veggie, beef). Can’t honestly say that it is as satisfying as actually chewing food but its a nice switch from soups and shakes.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience. You have a great writing style and might want to consider a career change. ;)

  488. Graham February 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    Thanks for the kind remarks, Kathy! I always appreciate when people take a moment out of their day to say hello.

    You’ve unlocked the key to surviving on blended food: add broth for flavor. You’ll be a happy camper once you can eat a legitimate meal again.

    I hope you get to enjoy solid food again soon!

  489. Abby February 19, 2012 at 6:36 am #

    Heya! So quick update, Im at the 3 and a half week mark. Most of the swelling and bruising has gone but there still is abit around my chin area.

    Still numb ofcourse but Im getting crazy sensations in my chin so Im hoping that means the nerves are waking up lol

    Everything seems to be going OK, but what Ive noticed the past few days is my jaw is making these clicking/popping sounds when I try and eat, and when I yawn etc. Especially in the morning when I have brekkie. Its not too bad later in the day but it comes especially if I swallow or yawn alot.

    It worried me a litte, but I heard that its nothing to worry about and it should go away. I see my surgeon in 10 days and was going to run it by him. Did it happen with you Graham and if not, is it something I should worry about? I just hope I havent moved my jaws too much that something is loose etc!

    Hope you’ve had a good weekend btw :)

  490. Graham February 19, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    Abby, I’m happy to hear that your swelling and bruising is fleeing from you!

    Clicking and popping noises are common at your point in the surgery. The bone has not completely fused back together yet, so your jaws are settling into place.

    It’s certainly not something you should worry about, but you should still put your best effort into being gentle with it. =)

  491. Abby February 20, 2012 at 2:59 am #

    Thanks heaps for the reassurance Graham! I was hoping thats what it meant! I returned back to work last Wednesday which meant more talking and being abit more active so I was worried oh no have I been moving my jaws too much, but I always try and be careful :)

    Im hoping my surgeon will have some good news for me when I visit him for my 5 week check up next Wednesday (i.e. if I can chew some real food hehe) I’ll keep you updated.

    Thanks again :)

  492. Jenny February 22, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    I’m the mom of an 18 year old son that will have his double jaw surgery early this summer right after high school graduation. The information here has been extremely enlightening — it has also made me a bit nervous. He has been told by his dentist since he was very young that he would need braces and surgery to correct his underbite once he was finished growing. He had his braces put on in June 2011 and has graduated to the stronger wire needed for surgery (his teeth only required minor straightening). We will be seeing his oral surgeon at the end of March for his pre-surgery workup.

    His father and I will be caring for him after surgery. Based on your experience, how should we plan to help him through his prep for surgery and his postoperative care? I work full time but am planning to take off about a week to be there for him. Any specific questions we should ask the surgeon during our pre-op appts?

    Also, I saw a report on the Internet from one individual who said the surgery made his nose spread (and that was common). Have any of you heard this or experienced it yourselves?

  493. Jenny February 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    BTW, he hasn’t voiced much concern over the surgery. He was given the choice and said that he wanted to have it done. He rarely complains about anything, although he suffers from allergies and his nose gets quite stuffy. He also has controlled asthma.

  494. Graham February 26, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    Hi Jenny,

    That’s kind of you to be taking a week off of work to take care of your son. My parents didn’t take time off, but they were certainly there in the mornings and evenings during my first few weeks of recovery.

    As far as preparing for the surgery goes, my only advice is to find a few TV series he likes so he has something to watch to pass the time for the first week or so. I thought I’d be reading lots, but I lacked the mental stamina to do so.

    Also, make sure he goes outside for walks a few times each day as soon as he’s home from the hospital. Fresh air and sunlight will keep him sober-minded and content.

    As for your question about the patient’s nose, I have not experienced this, nor have I heard anyone else mention it.

    Best of luck in a few months!

  495. Abby February 28, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    Hi! Ok so today is my 5 week anniversary and also my check up with the surgeon. He did x-rays etc and said everything looks great so he gave me the go ahead to chew on food!! I was so happy :)

    But Im still abit hesitant in chewing so I attemped a cheeseburger to see how I go, and ate it but, in small pieces so not to put too much pressure on my jaw LOL im still in that phase, but I cant help it.

    He did say also because Im not used to opening my mouth wide so I need to do more mouth exercises…and this is also why Ive been experiencing the clicking/popping which he also said is normal.

    So I guess I’ll still take it abit easy in the beginning but its nice to get the go ahead to eat :)

  496. Graham February 29, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    I’m so happy that you’re allowed to attempt eating once again, Abby! It’s certainly not as simple and fluid as one would hope, but your strength and ability to chew will return quickly. By this time next week, you should be able to eat anything that’s not overly hard or chewy.

  497. Sonya March 3, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Hi Me G!

    Hope you keeping well.

    Two weeks ago I had my 6 month post op anniversary. Time flies!

    The braces have been removed. Need to wear a clear plastic retainer for next 6 months. Feels great to floss normally again. Feels like my teeth have moved slightly but I’ve been told that it’s part of the settling. Not alot though- have any of you experienced the same…

    Just some encouragement to all those healing. Before you know it time will pass by so quickly. It’s well worth it so just hang in there!

    Take care

  498. Graham March 3, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    That’s so exciting that your braces have been removed, Sonya! I remember my teeth feeling so smooth when I had my braces taken off.

    My teeth moved once I was sans braces as well. This is normal. Just make sure you’re wearing your retainer as often as possible. I still wear mine every single night even though my braces were removed over a year ago.

    Congratulations on your successful recovery and I wish you all the best with your new smile!

  499. Debbie March 3, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    Just found this site and it is really good. My son had double jaw surgery with several other things on Wednesday. We are on our 4th day now. He is very swollen and we talk to the dr about every other day. Have a great dr so that is a good thing. My son is convinced that the surgery was done wrong since not all of his teeth are meeting. The dr has told him that it will be ok in the end. Did anyone else experience this? So nice to be able to see what others are doing through the recovery.

  500. Ashley March 4, 2012 at 9:00 am #

    Wow, Graham! You are one great guy! I’ve spent my morning reading through the comments, as I have lower jaw surgery in two days.

    This post has given me great insight and I will be buying a baby spoon some time today! I’ve been waiting to have my surgery for a year now, and I am more anxious each day. A big concern for me is how long should I expect to shy away from my significant other? Honestly, the difficulties of eating and pain don’t worry me, but being without energy does. I’m only 95lbs and I haven’t much of an appetite, which likely plays a part in my lack of worrying about the important things.

    I’m not an active person, but I’m wondering how you spent time during the second week, before returning to work. My plan was to lay in bed the first 10 days and gauge how I feel, but this sounds miserable. I know you mentioned walks outdoors, but it’s cold here in Utah, with snow in the forecast most of the month.

    Thanks so much and congratulations on your health and progress! I love your positive attitude!

    Best Wishes

  501. Debbie March 4, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    Ashley – you will have good days and bad days. We are on day 5, surgery was on Wednesday. Mitch was able to take care of himself while in the hospital overnight. He pretty much wouldn’t let anyone help him. Thursday was a good day. Friday he thought he could do anythign and Saturday he watched movies all day. Today he is sleeping. The dr said it would be like this. He has taken a shower everyday. The most important thing is the ice packs. USE them faithfully. I have recieved ideas on how to make them with alcohol and water(they leak). The best thing so far is frozen peas or hot/cold packs from the store. Going to go buy more today. Keep a towel and tissues handy also. Your nose might bleed and you will drowl. Good Luck.

  502. Graham March 4, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    Hi Debbie,

    Your son can rest assured that he’ll be alright. Hardly any of my teeth touched during the first couple of months. However, they’ll all meet up again further down the road. Teeth will grow until they encounter opposition (in this case, the rest of your teeth), so your son’s open bite will close naturally. It may take the better part of a year as mine did, but it will happen! =)

  503. Graham March 4, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    Hi Ashley,

    The worst part of your recovery is going to be boredom, in all honesty. Despite the fact that it’s cold outside, I still encourage you to try and go for a walk each day. I had my surgery in March as well, and it’s cold here in Edmonton at this time of year.

    The most important thing you can do is get food and water into your body and rest. Your body will heal naturally, but it will do so more quickly if it has the nutrients and hydration it requires.

    I’m not sure how long you’ll have to “shy away” from your significant other. You’ll likely be quite swollen and numb (and tired) for the first 2 – 3 weeks, but you’ll have to play it by ear. I started seeing friends and regaining my energy after the first month. It sounds like a long time, but soon you’ll be back in action with a smile you can’t contain. =)

  504. Ashley March 4, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Thanks so much, Graham!

    I’m currently making my last shopping list and will begin planning my wonderful menu for caloric requirements later today.

    I’m hoping I can find a way to track how much I’m eating and drinking without having to keep a physical log. Being so small, I don’t have a lot of weight to lose.

    Also, I was wondering if you have any suggestions for having a cold/allergies while recovering. I’ve been fighting off a nasty bug the past week or so, and I do have seasonal allergies. Sadly, vitamin C hasn’t helped much, but I’ve been taking it twice daily for the past week for good measure.

    Just a thought, I think I might use Twitter to boast or rant about my recovery, should anyone be interested in following and offering support or suggestions.

    Again, thank you and I cannot praise you enough! You’re awesome!

    Ashley (@ashii_)

  505. Graham March 4, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    I honestly have no advice regarding colds and allergies during the recovery. I was lucky enough to remain healthy throughout, but I have met people who had to deal with sneezing and vomiting while they were still wired shut. Most of them said it was more of an uncomfortable inconvenience than anything else.

    I would just try to drink as much water as possible and think positively. If you end up having to deal with illness during your recovery, ask your surgeon what they recommend.

    I’m following you on Twitter. Looking forward to hearing about those initial few weeks!

  506. Sinéad March 4, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    I have my surgery in two weeks – so excited but nervous at the same time. I’m from Ireland and we do things differently here! I won’t be wired but the doctor will be using elastics instead. One thing that is concerning me mostly though are my exams. They start 5 weeks after my operation. I’ll be missing 3 weeks of lectures and 2 weeks of study period. Do you think I’ll be fit to study after the 3 week mark?? Or would you recommend deferring them till Sept. when I can sit them again.

  507. Elise March 4, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    Hi Graham,

    I just discovered your web-site while trying to determine how much longer the swelling in my face will last which I find very annoying. What a great forum for jaw surgery with lots of useful information. Thanks so much.

    I am 5 1/2 weeks post op after upper and lower jaw surgery along with having the turbinate bones removed from my sinuses and my deviated septum fixed. I had the surgery to correct sleep apnea. My upper jaw was brought forward 1/2 cm and my lower jaw was brought forward 1 cm. I finally started sleeping through the night after 5 weeks. I had night sweats for about 3 weeks and overall discomfort that woke me up every night.

    So I see from your comments that it can be 3 – 4 months before the swelling is gone. I will hang in there. The swelling is mainly under my nose and in the sinus areas of my cheeks. I have some numbness on my chin and can’t feel the middle of my bottom lip yet, but hoping that feeling will come back soon.

    I was wondering if anyone has found their voice changed (lower or higher) after the surgery. Right now mine is a bit nasaly, but I think it is because of the congestion.

    Thanks again for the great information!

    Elise

  508. Graham March 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    Hi Sinéad,

    I think you’ll be able to study perfectly fine after three weeks. If I were you, I’d still write the exams. You’ll be able to focus by that point and it’ll provide you with a more stress-free summer knowing you don’t have to head back to exams in the fall.

  509. Graham March 4, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    Hi Elise,

    Fighting the swelling is, unfortunately, a waiting game. It will go away on its own, but it will take time.

    As for your voice, it’s likely sounding different due to congestion right now. Your voice won’t change at large. The only difference may be that any previous lisp you may have had will be gone.

    Keep being patient with your swelling. I promise it will go away!

  510. Debbie March 4, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    Thank you so much Graham for starting this blog and maintaining it. For the person who is concerned about exercise, go to Walmart to walk if you need to. My son, 15, had surgery on Wednesday, went to a birthday party for an hr on Friday and then to a friends house for 2 hrs today. He is very swollen, cute little (204 lbs) chipmunk he is. He takes along his ice packs. I think that it has done him good to get out. He was getting depressed at home. I plan on starting him on schoolwork tomorrow for a little bit. Plus one of his friends will come by 3 times a week to help with geometry. This biggest thing is keeping up with the pain meds and ibuprofen for the swelling. He is also mildy OCD and if sitting around he starts to obsess about the teeth not matching up right now.

  511. Debbie March 4, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    Ashley – have you ever tried raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar for colds and allergies? Don’t know how it works but it does. I have been able to keep my allergies under control and in NM we have been having some major wind with dust. Also, no colds. It really does help.

  512. Ella March 5, 2012 at 5:18 am #

    Hey Graham
    Omg this site has helped me heaps through my recovery so thanks so much :) i’m about 35 days post op and my surgeon told me that I did swell a little bit more than expected but my face has been looking quite slanted and lop sided. Did this happen to you and if so how long till your face looks semi normal again haha?
    Thanks again, without your blog I would have been so confused during the 1st few weeks

  513. Graham March 5, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    Hi there Ella!

    I remember my lopsided face as if it were only yesterday. My advice is to not judge your appearance until at least the two-month mark. Swelling does an amazing job at throwing your face out of whack.

    I promise that as soon as your swelling goes away, you’ll have a face that makes sense again. =)

    Stay happy, my friend!

  514. JiL March 13, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    I’m so glad I found this site!! i’m getting double jaw surgery on march 22nd! I’m getting really nervous!! I’m 5′ 7” and 115lbs!! I can’t afford to lose much weight! also i’m expected to return to work after 2 and a half Weeks! i’m definitely going to do some research before surgery for tips and shakes so I don’t lose too much weight! Thank you for making this awesome website!! :)

  515. Graham March 13, 2012 at 12:30 am #

    That’s in barely over a week, Jil! I’ll be sending healthy thoughts your way on the 22nd.

    If you’re already fairly light, you likely won’t lose too much weight. Make sure you get enough food and water into your system to aid your body in recovery during those first few weeks!

  516. Lauren March 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    This website is helpful at this frustrating time. I just had surgery, (March 8th). It was an 8 hour surgery where they moved my upper jaw upward and forward 3 cm, moved my bottom jaw forward 5 cm and sawed off “bone spurs” the doctor called them.

    I am so frustrated at this sleep situation! Everything is pretty much numb from my eyes down, yet I can still feel pain. How did you guys sleep?

    Also, I have only lost 2 lbs because I am forcing myself to eat my 1800 calories a day to not lose weight… but I feel like all the milky boost, protein powder and milkshakes are making me more filled with mucous. Any good suggestions for what to eat? Will eating something with a ton of salt make me swell worse?
    By the way, thanks for the site, it helps keep me sane… I think I am way ahead of the healing curve as of now.

  517. Graham March 13, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    Hi Lauren,

    I’m seriously impressed that you’re eating 1800 calories each day! I don’t know how you manage. I don’t think I was even hitting the 1000-calorie mark during my first few weeks.

    I have no idea if the foods you eat have any effect on your swelling. You’ll have to consult the Internet for that question.

    As for sleep, I can honestly say I wasn’t able to sleep through the night for the first 2 – 3 weeks. You’ll be a lot more comfortable in the coming weeks, though. It’s just these initial two weeks that are so frustrating!

  518. CJ Fray March 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    hey graham i was on here a little over a month ago and i was doing pretty bad back then but now ive got my split out nothing in my mouth except for my braces and a small retainer but im feeling a million times better and just wanted to say this page helped a ton and you were right about the numbness im not all back quite yet but im alot better so i just wanted to say thanks alot you helped

  519. Bethanie March 15, 2012 at 7:20 am #

    Hello i’m Beth and from England. i am just 17 and i am currently on fday 17! I have no pain no swelling and a tiny bit of numbness on my chin! The worst part for me is not eating i am sick of frickin soup!! Also my braces are cutting into my gum badly and my tounge keeps getting sstuck in between my metal rings and ooouuuuccchhhh it’s painfull! Also when i drink it feels like my teeth will fall out but they are still with me so i think it’s me over thinking things i tend to do that:/ but enough about me i just eantrd yo say that you blog has been such a masdive help so thank you! Xx

  520. Graham March 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    I absolutely remember you, CJ! That’s great to hear that you’re feeling much better now. I always feel somewhat heartless when I tell people that life will be better soon, so it’s always nice to hear that my advice is actually ringing true!

    Enjoy your new smile, my friend!

  521. Graham March 15, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    Nice to meet you, Beth! It’s your champagne recovery day (ya’know, 17 years old on your 17th day of recovery)! =)

    I’m glad my writing has been useful for you. You’ll be eating regular food again within the next month, so you just have to survive for a bit longer.

    Good luck over the next few weeks!

  522. Joanne March 16, 2012 at 2:48 am #

    Just starting day 3. Had upper and lower jaw surgery for an open bite. Getting pretty swollen. Just wondering the difference between heat packs and ice packs? Does one work better than the other? Came home yesterday and have to take all
    Liquid medicine. It tastes horrible! Anything used to disguise the taste?

    Joanne

  523. Debbie March 16, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    Joanne – my son said the same thing about the liquid medications. He just got use to it. Can you mix it in applesauce or yogurt?
    We used ice paks for 2 weeks. It does get better.
    He is 2 weeks out now and doing great. He even played golf 2 days ago.
    He had double jaw surgery and they had to move his jaw back to the right, it was tweaking to the left. Just keep the ice paks on. Good luck.

  524. Graham March 16, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    I’d take Debbie’s advice, Joanne. The apple sauce trick sounds pretty clever.

    I’m not sure what the effects of using heat packs vs. ice packs are during those initial few weeks. I was told to use heat packs; many patients are encouraged to use ice packs. As long as you’re using one of the two, your swelling should decrease. I chose heat packs because I was able to sleep more comfortably if my face was warm rather than cold.

    At the end of the day, the swelling really just needs to run its course before it goes away completely. As I tell most others, the first two weeks will be frustrating for you, but life will become much better after that. =)

  525. Joanne March 16, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Thanks debbie

  526. Scout March 19, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    I’m scheduled for double jaw surgery, plus genioglossus advancement in 2 weeks and I’m starting to lose sleep over it already! Is anyone on here nearly as old as I am – 59? I do appreciate the tips for the recovery period. Any other advice/encouragement appreciated.

  527. Graham March 19, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    Hi Scout,

    There was another man I was in touch with last summer who was 56 years old and still decided to have the surgery. He said that his recovery was surprisingly similar to what most people experience, despite the fact that he was quite a bit older than most of the patients.

    As long as you’re in good health, you should have nothing to worry about. At your age, you should be able to recover perfectly alright. Just make sure you get enough rest and exercise so you keep your health throughout.

  528. Joanne March 20, 2012 at 6:19 am #

    Good morning! Day 6 here and have a couple of more questions. I started vomiting yesterday and now feel like I have something stuck in the back of my throat (which made me get sick again). My doctor told me that I will experience coughing up blood. I’m not sure if that is it or not. Anyone else experience this? I know that graham said he did not have any vomiting. Just making sure I am on the right track to recovery.

  529. Scout March 20, 2012 at 6:42 am #

    Thanks, Graham. BTW, as a point of interest, my problems stem from the effects of acromegaly, combined with a smallish, somewhat recessed chin to start with. Acromegaly makes one’s facial bones and tongue grow (among lots of other potential problems), wreaking havoc on one’s bite. (I take every opportunity to educate people about this condition – called gigantism when it affects children.)

  530. Graham March 20, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    Joanne, while vomiting is incredibly uncomfortable following surgery, I’ve met a number of people who went through this. Swallowing small amounts of blood turned their stomach and they were subjected to vomiting for a few days in a row.

    You’re still in good shape, despite having to deal with this. My advice is to drink as much water as you can. Not only will it dilute your system, it will also make you feel a bit fresher and perhaps remove that nagging feeling in the back of your throat.

    I feel for you. This will all be over soon!

  531. Graham March 20, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    Scout, I’ve never heard of acromegaly, so I guess I learned something today. Is this something that will continue to affect your bite following surgery?

  532. Debbie March 20, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    Joanne – I hope that you had a good day. My son started back to school yesterday. Tomorrow will be 3 weeks since surgery. He has lost about 20 lbs. He weighed in at 204 in preop so he could afford to lose some. We will find out tomorrow if they need to do anymore surgery. It will be very minor if they do. There is a gap in his teeth on the left side that was not there before surgery. They are trying to correct that and some alignment issues with rubber bands. Has anyone else dealt with these issues?

  533. Bree March 21, 2012 at 1:00 am #

    Hi Graham & Fellow Orthognathic Peeps!!!

    My surgery date is fast approaching and I have one more question to ask….I know that everyone is different in their healing time, but how long (on average) did everyone need some kind of assistance- before they could actually fend for themselves? (ie: food prep, driving, household activities etc.)

  534. Graham March 21, 2012 at 8:11 am #

    Hi Bree!

    If you want to be comfortable, I would try to have someone around for the first two weeks. You’ll be able to cook and take care of yourself within the first few days, but it will be tiring and you’ll need to find the willpower to do so.

    After two weeks, you should easily have enough energy to start driving and being on your own again. You won’t be running marathons or anything, but you’ll be able to fend for yourself quite alright. =)

  535. Sinéad March 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    I feel like i’m dying a slow death. im day 3 post-op. my face is swollen beyond recognition. the lack of sleep is affecting me big time. i’ve had less than 5 hours sleep since tuesday :( my jaw is completely elasticated together so can’t swallow the pills. im barely eating 500 calories a day. i keep telling myself that it’ll be worth it but its so hard :(

  536. Graham March 22, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    Sinéad, I promise you the first week is the worst week. (That even rhymes!) Your life will become a lot easier after the first two weeks are over.

    I encourage you to focus on taking walks each day and trying to eat and drink as much as possible during these first few weeks. To be completely honest, they’re going to be frustrating, but time will pass and you’ll soon be super happy you travelled through this entire ordeal.

    Feel free to email me whenever you’re feeling down if you feel the need to rant to somebody who understands. =)

  537. Cindy March 24, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    Had a plate put on a 4mm fracture on lower jaw and posts and wired shut on Tuesday, feeling uncomfortable but not much pain at all. Where the nurses had to give me Demerol shots hurt more than anything. My jaw was broke a week before I got a CT scan I guess I just had wishful hoping it wasn’t broke. The swelling and pain were getting better everyday but when I heard popping I knew I had to get it checked out. Of course I freaked myself out looking on the inet so much. Lost 13 lbs so far which is a good thing. Today I blended homemade chicken soup, I’ve been doing protein shakes and juice also can soup but I decided to give “real food” a chance. My motherinlaw lent me a Ninja blender it’s kind of intimidating but I went grocery shopping and decided to eat what the family is eating. Doctor said I’d be wired about 2 weeks then bands but I’m not sure for how long I go to docs this Wednesday. This is a very helpful site thank you for your help and I’ll check in Wednesday. Cindy;)

  538. Graham March 24, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Cindy, I’ve never heard of a “Ninja blender,” but it sounds amazing!

    You’ve lost a lot of weight as well. I hope you get to start eating some solid food again soon. It’s a frustrating time, isn’t it?

    Let me know how your first few bites are once the bands come off. =)

  539. Sinead March 25, 2012 at 4:32 am #

    Hey Graham :)

    Thanks for your comment. I’m afraid mine was posted in a fit of madness..I came home yesterday and feel so much better already! Sleeping in my own bed makes a real difference. I don’t think i’ve ever been so hungry in my life..i’ve also lost 14 pounds since Tues but I had put on 6 pre-op in anticipation of this. I’m only eating ~500calories a day as I’m not a fan of milkshakes/soup/smoothies etc. Result is that I feel very weak a lot of the time ..I had a bone graft as well (I’m not sure if this is normal?) so trying to keep off my feet to minimise discomfort. Hopefully when the doctor loosens the bands i can start eating more and get in some exercise :) Thanks so much for your blog!! It’s really helpful and best of luck to anyone else getting the surgery.

  540. Tracie March 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    Hi Graham, I just had double jaw surgery last month, and I wish I had found this site earlier. You offer so much information here. It’s great!

    My question is: how long did it take you to get used to chewing solid food when the doctor gave you the ‘ok’?

    I’m at 6 weeks post-op and my doctor told me I could start chewing, but it felt like I was chewing with fake wooden teeth or something. It felt really weird. So I decided to wait until 8 weeks since that’s what my orthodontist recommended.

    My doctor also agreed to let me wait since I have a pre-existing TMJ condition (reason for my surgery).

    On another subject–I read here about people losing weight, but I’ve actually gained after surgery. For people wanting to maintain their weight, I suggest that you write down everything you eat each day, and eat as often as possible. I’m already underweight so I couldn’t afford to lose any weight. I still drink 3 bottles of Ensure Plus each day, along with high-calorie foods like avocado, ice cream, milk, butter, etc. Good luck to everyone!

  541. Graham March 25, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Hi Tracie,

    Once I was allowed to eat solid food again, it took another 2 – 3 weeks before it felt normal. My jaw was still really weak at first, so I had to take it slow. I started out by eating soft soups (but no longer blended!) and then moved onto pasta and steamed vegetables. Your strength and feeling will return, but it’s all a process.

    Also, as soon as you have the strength to chew gum, I encourage you to do so. That is a constant workout for your jaw and will only bring good things in terms of recovery.

  542. Elise March 25, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    Hello Graham

    I’m going to be able to eat solid foods next week, exactly a month post surgery! I was on a mush, no chew soft diet for three weeks, and I have no idea what I should start eating when I can! Is there anythin else except for soup?

    Elise

  543. Graham March 25, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    Elise, I would start with soup, pasta, and steamed vegetables. Casseroles fit into this group as well.

    Technically, you can eat whatever you’d like. Just chew slowly and be careful that you don’t try to chew through nuts or touch meats right away.

    Let pain be your guide.

  544. Brenda March 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    Hi Graham, I had lower jaw surgery and im 16 days post op. I’m wondering when I will get the splint taken off because I really want to eat and talk. I go in for my post op appointment on april 3rd and i just want to know if they might take off the splint that day or if i will stay with it for a couple weeks longer. I also havent been going to school since my surgery that was on march 12 and I want to go back but it will be hard because people will try to talk to me but with the splint in my mouth it will be impossible for me to go back to school. Im really impatient for my doctor to tell me what i have to do next.

  545. Graham March 28, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    Hi Brenda,

    I honestly can’t tell you when your splint will be removed. I promise you it will be within the next month. I had mine in for 7 weeks and I’ve never met anyone who was left with a splint for that long. You’ll need to ask your surgeon about yours, though. Most people end up dealing with the splint for about a month.

    I encourage you to go back to school as soon as you have the energy for it. The fact that you have difficulty speaking with the splint in is something you’re going to have to deal with for a few weeks. Keep in mind that this is temporary. The moment your full smile is returned to you, people will completely forget about “those 2 weeks you had a splint in your mouth.”

    People are more understanding than you may think. =)

  546. Scout March 30, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    Hi Graham,
    The acromegaly is under control after surgery to remove a benign pituitary tumor and monthly medication, so, hopefully, I’ll have no more ill effects.

  547. Tan March 30, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    I had surgery five days ago.Upper lower and my chin. I have a major problem with the drooling. As I get up I am constantly drooling.I am so conscious of this I am to embarrassed to have any friends visit me. My lips are open and are not touching. They are swollen. Are you able to control your lips eventually? My lips are widely open. My son told me I resemble an ape:( I also have a splint in my mouth that is annoying. It’s so hard to talk and be understood. I am asking myself is the suffering worth it.

  548. Graham March 30, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    Hi Tan,

    You’ll regain control over your lips and be able to stifle the drooling in about a week. The first two weeks are going to be uncomfortable for you.

    Once you’ve healed up, you’ll be glad you went through with the surgery. You simply need to make it through these first few weeks. Go for walks and find a few good TV shows or movies to keep yourself entertained.

    You’ll be back to your regular life soon!

  549. natalie March 31, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    Hiya my partner is due to have jaw surgery next week and hes terrified about it and the healing. He’s not sure wether he will b able to breathe and if he’s sick will choke as he has to be fully wired. Have you any advice I could give him etc. Read a few of your posts asmuch as my phone would let me

  550. JiL March 31, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    I did it!!!! :) Its been 9 days since surgery!! The first 3 days were the worst just as most people say. I’m feelin’ soo much better now though!! The swelling is almost gone and im gaining strength back quick! Im only taking ibuprophen at night for the pain (the very little that I have). I go back to the doc in a week to get the stitches out and get my bands adjusted (hopefully to where I can talk better lol)! Something that helped me soo much through the first couple days was a humidifier!! I highly recommend it!! It made my breathing soo much easier and my nose was completely clear by day 5!!
    I do have 1 question. I’ve been getting these little sores on my tongue! I think its from all the metal and bands in my mouth! They hurt soo bad though!! Making it very hard to eat!! :( Do you have any advice on how to make them go away?? I’ve been brushing my teeth and rinsing with peroxide and water; trying very hard to keep my mouth clean. They arent going away though!

  551. CJ Fray April 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    back once more except this time i must ask a question after your surgery and yolur feeling finally starts to come back in your gums did some of your teeth more sensitive?

  552. Graham April 2, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    Hi Natalie,

    While the initial recovery is certainly a frustrating ordeal, try to reassure him that it will all be worthwhile. The recovery is only 3 months and then he’ll get to enjoy a functioning jaw for the rest of his life.

    The first 2 weeks are going to be difficult, but I assure you that he will be okay. As I tell everyone, make sure you two go for walks and find a few television series to keep him entertained. Reading is difficult at first due to lack of mental stamina.

    The best I can do is wish you good luck!

  553. Graham April 2, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    That’s exciting, Jil! You’re already nearly finished the most difficult part of the journey!

    As for the sores on your tongue, I know your pain well. The only thing you can do is endeavor to keep you mouth as clean as possible (which is pretty difficult with bands in). They will go away as soon as your body is able to shift some of its energy back to taking care of things not related to your jaw.

    Stay positive and you’ll be back in action soon!

  554. Graham April 2, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    Hi CJ,

    My teeth were incredibly sensitive when feeling began to return. The increased sensitivity will stick around for a few weeks until your teeth readjust to temperature differences and their enamel is rebuilt to where it was before.

    Try to avoid eating anything that is extremely hot or cold and you should be okay.

  555. Abby April 9, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    Hey Graham! So one quick update…Im now about 10 weeks post op! It really does go bye so quick. The hard bit has passed though which is good. I can pretty much chew on anything now more comfortably. My jaw still kinda clicks/pop abit and I have trouble opening my mouth wide but its not too much of a concern. I made a booking with my surgeon on the 16th of April just to make sure everything is going smoothly :)

    Im ofcourse still numb around my bottom lip/chin but I get these cold sensations alot, so dont really know what that means but I just hope I get the feelings back sometime in the future :)

    So thanks again for your helpful tips earlier on. To whoever else is going through this journey, hang in there! It might seem tough in the beginning, but it does get better and easier and it will all be worth it in the end.

    Oh and I just followed you on Twitter aswell :)

  556. Graham April 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    Abby, I’m so happy to hear that you’re back in good shape and eating normally again! Time really does fly, doesn’t it?

    This feels like a good moment to cue up a, “They grow up so fast” sound bite, but I’m going to let it slide.

    I bet you’re looking forward to the day you get to break up with your braces now! =)

  557. Carrie MacDonald April 10, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    My Daughter is 18 days post op and has a terrible case of very small acne bumps on her cheeks, chin, jaw and moving toward her neck. So many that they look like a rash with whiteheads. It started about a week ago. Dr. wants to see her. Anyone else have this problem? She finished her meds one week post op.

  558. Cindy April 11, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    22 days post op from lower jaw surgery, doc took wires off today I was not expecting that soooo happy! Lost 15 lbs needed to so that’s okay. Lots of fiber shakes and some smoothies in the morning. Hang in there everyone!

  559. brenda April 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    I am 32 days post op since i had lower jaw surgery and i will be going in to surgery again this friday so that they will remove the splint that is on my top teeth and these screws that are on my gums close to my teeth and i cant wait for them to take the whole thing off so that i can finally eat like a normal person and talk as well. I just hope that i dont get an infection or anything becquse i really want to go back to school already. Has anybody gone through what im going through, please help!

  560. Bree April 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    Surgical Hooks have been put on….T minus 6 days!!! I think I am done stressing and just ready to get this show on the road! I have set myself up with lots of T.V. series, lip balm, tissues, saline spray, crosswords, and Prune Juice! Go team Othognathic Surgery!!

  561. Tori April 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    Hey everyone!
    I am 11 days post op for double jaw surgery. I though I would add a couple tips I did not see on here.
    1. My orthodontist and surgeon both remarked on how fast my swelling went down. I told them what I had been doing and they thought that one thing was the reason why. You know how when you are in the hospital they have your bed almost sitting up? When I got home we shoved a bunch of pillows and blankets under the top of my mattress and then put a board at the bottom between the mattress and the bedframe so that I was elevated when I slept. To keep from sliding down we surrounded me with pillows. If there is any way to sleep at about a 30 degree angle, your swelling will decrease very quickly. I have almost none now.
    2. Fiber is hard to get in a liquid diet. As many have said, prune juice is great. But, ground flax seed also works. You usually can find it in the organic section at most grocery stores and if you just blend it up with a smoothie it is a great source of fiber.
    3. As soon as you can, establish a mouth cleaning regiment. Anytime after I eat I use an irrigating syringe (the ones with the curved point) to remove any excess food. Then I brush reallly, really well. At first I was very timid about brushing because of the stitches but my surgeon told me that they are in there very well and to brush as I normally would, just with the kids sized toothbrush. After brushing, I use a solution of 2 parts mouthwash to one part hydrogen peroxide and rinse out my mouth the best I can. I can’t really swish it around yet, but if you just hold it in your mouth and move your head around it is good enough. After that, you should have very fresh breath and an extra clean mouth.
    Sorry for the long post, but these things really helped me and I’m sure they would others too!

  562. Graham April 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    Hi Carrie,

    I’ve never heard of anyone reacting to the antibiotics by spawning acne.

    I suggest you follow the doctor’s orders in this situation. It doesn’t sound like anything too serious, but it would be nice if your doctor could give your daughter a prescription to alleviate that type of rash.

    Good luck!

  563. Graham April 12, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    Brenda, if you’re having your splint removed soon, you’ll likely be eating regular meals again within the month.

    Once the splint is gone, you should be able to go back to school. You’ll certainly need to eat slowly and be protective of your jaw for another few weeks, but you can begin readjusting to the regular swing of things again.

    Just take it easy and enjoy each day!

  564. Graham April 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    Bree, it sounds like you’re better prepared than I could have ever hoped to be! Good luck next week!

  565. Graham April 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    Tori, those are all excellent tips! Keeping yourself elevated while you sleep and eating ground flax seeds would have been an incredible help. Thanks for sharing your insight.

  566. Lee April 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    Really informative blog: Thank you.

    I had upper and lower jaw surgery and ended up with 12 titanium plates, and 52 screws.

    The surgery seemed to go well but I’m 7 weeks out of surgery and getting really nervous about the fact that I still have a lot of numbness in and around my lips. It affects the way I speak and I’m worried that this numbness is out of the norm. I still have quite a bit of swelling on the sides of my nose too.

    Do you think these issues are normal at 7 weeks out? or should I be concerned?

    Thank you again for you insights.

  567. brenda April 12, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    Thanks for the advice. I found out today that my surgery is changed to monday ugh it upset me i want to get this thing over with. Anyway has anybody ever had these screws that are on the gums near the teeth and brackets, these screws are really hurting the inside of my cheeks and it just bugs when i try to laugh. Also does anybody know if the hospital will have me stay at least one day after the surgery, they are only going to remove the splint on the upper teeth and the screws on my gums. Please help!

  568. Graham April 12, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

    Hi Lee,

    It sounds like you have a lot of hardware holding your jaw together!

    As for numbness, I wouldn’t worry about it until the 3-month mark. I experienced the return of feeling up until around that point. As always, some people receive their feeling back sooner than others.

    If, after 3 months, your feeling is still absent, I’d certainly ask your surgeon for an honest evaluation at that point. At the very least, all of the feel should return to your upper lip because it is not connected to the primary nerve that has to be moved as a result of the surgery.

    I wish you all the best and let me know the outcome in another month or so. I’m interested to see if your feeling finds its way back or not.

  569. Graham April 12, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    Brenda, I’m not sure how long the hospital will hold you. My splint was held in by removable wires, so I didn’t have to go back in for surgery to have it taken out. I’ve never actually heard of anyone going back for a second operation to have the splint removed, but I trust your surgeon knows what they’re doing.

    Let me know how you’re doing during those first few days following the removal of that awful piece of oral hardware. =)

  570. donna southall April 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    i am so glad found this site i av been looking on youtube for a few weeks ,and i am so scared to have my surgery done but then i really want it done dont no want to do

  571. Graham April 15, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    Hi Donna,

    You’ll be glad you went through with the surgery. I promise! =)

    It can seem daunting at first, but you’ll quickly realize that the recovery is actually quite short for such an invasive operation, and when you start smiling afterwards (and are able to bite through a sandwich properly), you’ll be happy with the results.

  572. Bree April 20, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    Hi! Im almost at the 48 hour mark! So, far the most annoying part is the fact that i drool an insane amount and that i can not blow my nose. I have a lot going on in my nose and the Saline isnt doing much. There doesnt seem to be much pain- just majorly uncomfortable. Oh, and the fact that my bottom lip looks like an elephant! I thought I had myself set up pretty well, but this turned out to be something you just kinda have to roll with the punches on. ha ha ha! I am already getting twinges of feeling on my bottom lip and my nose is going in and out of feeling as well. I will check in with anything informative I stumble across. Speedy Healing to you all!

  573. Bree April 22, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    And, its 100% true that day four will emit some kind of “smokey” taste in your mouth!!! Im not sure if its all the dried blood or that we regain some sort of sensation that creates that, but its kinda icky! 5 1/2 more weeks of this splint…. i can taste some sourdough bread with butter already!!!

    btw, my surgeon was pretty adamant about me not using the medicated nasal spray (saline is fine) for more than three days. I woke up in a panic, because I couldnt breathe last night. I decided that if I come out of this a little dependent on nasal spray, meh…. could be worse! I think I need some kind of sanity thru all of this, and if breathing thru my nose does it- it shall be! Always do what your doctor recommends, but sometimes a little nudge can mean the difference between comfy and miserable. :-)

  574. Graham April 23, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Hi Bree!

    First off, I must say that I chuckled when you describe your bottom lip as making you look like an elephant. I pictured a person having just woken up from jaw surgery to discover that they had grown a trunk in the operating room! Eeek!

    I hope you manage to distract yourself enough to get through this next week so you can start looking forward to summer!

  575. Bree April 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    Glad I could make you laugh….even my surgeon chuckled at me- and he isnt the “giggling kind”. I actually planted a flower garden today. I probably felt a little better than I should have, because now my nose wont stop bleeding. The doc said I progressing beautifully and ahead of schedule. Now, to figure out these dang rubber bands………..

  576. Bree April 23, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    PS. If you are having trouble like me with the insane amount of drooling; take a piece of foamy medical tape and tape that “elephant lip” up. It works like a charm- until it gets soggy and a new piece is needed!

  577. Matt April 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    Hey Graham

    First of all great site great tips on recovery. The only thing I want to ask though is what can I do. I know the first week I’m pretty much bed ridden. Week 2 I have no idea u said I could go outside. Does that mean I can play sports bc I have a huge baseball tournaments 4 weeks today . All I got down was a 3 cut 2 piece upper jaw alignment I was wondering if I would be ready to play ball

  578. Graham April 26, 2012 at 12:44 am #

    Hey Matt,

    I would definitely not play baseball anytime before your six-week mark. You’ll likely have very little energy until that time, and if you take a baseball to the face, your jaw will probably shift out of place (perhaps requiring surgery to fix it again).

    Ask your surgeon for a second opinion, but my recommendation is to stay away from active sports for at least six weeks.

    Good luck!

  579. Cindy April 26, 2012 at 5:10 am #

    Finally got my posts out, 2 weeks after my wires were cut. I think the sites are the worst pain and discomfort I’ve felt through this whole ordeal. Still losing weight, I guess since my stomach shrunk. No problem there!! Good luck to all of you, my fracture wasn’t anything like what most of you are going through, but still sucked! Hang in there everyone. Cindy

  580. Christie Hamby May 1, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    Graham, you helped my daughter Jo Lynn Campbell all through her double jaw surgery recovery and you were a great encouragement. She had surgery a year and a half ago, but is still having tightness and discomfort continually all around her mouth. Do you still experience that, and is there some solution?
    Thank you,
    Christie Hamby

  581. Amy May 2, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    Thanks Graham!
    I’m going in for my surgery tomorrow morning, and reading your blog for the past few months has really helped ease my nerves :).

  582. Graham May 2, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    Hi Christie,

    The only “tightness” I still experience is if I contort my nose in an unnatural fashion, and that’s due to scar tissue that never broke down.

    I encourage you to call her surgeon and ask for their advice. Jo Lynn should most definitely not be experiencing discomfort at 18 months post-op.

    I think it’s time to ask the professionals. =)

  583. Debbie May 3, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    Has anyone had to have their surgery redone? My son will need to have an adjustment in the next few months. They will need to break the lower jaws and tweak it. Here we go again. Everything looks good but the dr is not happy with how something set.

  584. Graham May 4, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    That’s unfortunate, Debbie, but I have heard of a few people who needed to undergo adjustments following the initial operation. It’s rare, but it has happened before.

    What exactly is the surgeon unhappy with?

  585. Debbie May 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    The muscles are so strong in my son’s mouth that they are pulling the jaw back to the original position. They have tried bands in different positions. They have relaxed some but not enough. From what I understand they will move the screws to reset it. They will only be breaking the lower jaw this time.

  586. Graham May 5, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    Well, I really hope the follow-up surgery goes exactly as planned. He’s a young guy, so he’ll be able to heal quickly. This is unfortunate, but in a few short months, it will all be behind him.

    All the best for the upcoming surgery! =)

  587. Kim May 6, 2012 at 12:49 am #

    I am currently 4 weeks post op. had lower jaw moved forward 8 mm. Was never banded shut or have bite splint minus surgery only had class 1 elastics which was for 3 weeks. Was on an all liquid diet for a week and boy did that get old quick, currently eating soft foods I can mash with tongue on my palate. Have numbness on lower lip from center to the corner. Now working on stretching jaw, already had to relearn how to swallow, drink from a cup, and talk.

    My question for you is any tips for sleeping. Also any tips for not feeling hungry 24/7 lol. I eat and it takes me an hr to do so and as soon as I finish I feel hungry again and stomach growls.

  588. Graham May 6, 2012 at 1:02 am #

    Hi Kim,

    As far as sleeping goes, you’ll find yourself able to sleep through the night very soon. The first 4 – 5 weeks generally bring a lot of restlessness with them, but you’ll soon be comfortable enough to sleep with no issues. My only suggestion is to sleep with a hot pack on your pillow to see if the heat soothes you.

    Being hungry is, unfortunately, part of the game. Since you’re eating less and your body is spending most of its energy healing the bones in your jaw, you’re simply going to be hungry most of the time. Once you can eat at a normal pace again, your hunger will subside and life will return to normal.

    Just a few more weeks until you’re back to normal. Stay positive!

  589. Kim May 6, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    Thanks for a quick response I notice from post op til las week I was sleeping a good amount of the night first 2 weeks I slept every 2 hrs in hospital (overnight) til the switched me from morphine to liquid I believe when I got send home I was sleepin every 3-4 hrs. After 4 days of basically doing nothing I felt good enough to get up and move and then if I took a nap during the day I was fine. I started back working so I do alot durin the day but within the past week my sleeping went from about 8 hours and waking rested to barely gettig 3 again and dragging. Is this normal because I started working and just need to adjust. I do put heat on my jaw about 20 minutes prior to falling asleep too and that does help

  590. Ina May 8, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    The first few days are supposed to be the worst, right? 

    I’m definitely feeling that right now. The nurse called today and said I sounded amazing. In fact I only have rubber bands but I am wearing horrible arch bars that cut into my upper and lower gums. Using dental wax to help that.

    The worst thing for me is not being able to breathe, especially through my nose. I have a humidifier going 24/7 so that helps. I’m using Ocean Spray and this really nice alcohol-free mouth wash. My nose is really stuffed up. I am using hydrogen peroxide and cotton swabs to clean out the bloody snot. It works! Taking Tylenol with codeine and some baby ibuprofen. Also prune juice and smooth move laxative tea. Nothing has happened yet. Just drinking Ensure and smoothies for now. Graduated to fruit juices and tomato soup tonight. My mom made me a whole menu of blendables and they are packaged in the freezer for when I feel up to it. Also still using ice packs, Vaseline on my lips and a nice moisturizer cream on my puffy and shiny face. There is some bruising on my cheeks and my nostrils are huge. Some dark marks around the corners of my mouth. I saw that another Asian on your blog said he had those too.

    I am so sad mentally. Up until Friday when I got the surgery, I was the major caretaker of my 4-1/2 month old baby girl. She is doing great with my husband and my grandparents but I miss her terribly. I can’t lift anything over 5-10 pounds for 6 weeks. Even getting out of bed puts pressure on my teeth. The weather in SF is super hot right now (go figure) and they took her out for a walk, I was too weak and stayed home. Walked around my building a bit and sat outside in the sun for a few minutes.

    I have a ton of in-person support and online support. I’m extremely lucky. Everything has been planned out and all is going according to plan. My mother-in-law is coming in a few days and will be helping with the baby for 5 weeks. 

    I’ve been watching lame tv and trying not to grump around and feel sorry for myself. I guess I am grumpy and healthy enough to be annoying to my husband, maybe I’m not really that messed up!

    IH

  591. Graham May 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    Hi Ina!

    Upon reading through your post, I’d like you to know that you are in exactly the same place as most. The first two weeks are certainly the most difficult to get through, largely due to the emotional stress of not being able to communicate.

    It’s good to hear that you’ve graduated to soups already. Just embrace the bad TV and your days will begin to get better within the next week or so. I promise! =)

  592. Bree May 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    Ina,

    I couldnt help but “try to laugh” at your post!!! My husband says I am super annoying… and I am pretty sure he wants this over with more than I do! LOL!

    Im so glad we have this availability to find peace during our journey. Imagine how crazy we would feel, if we didnt know it was to be expected- yikes!

    I am at three weeks today. Im still swollen along the lower jaw and the Le Fort Incision has played an evil game on my sinuses. I despise having to change these rubber bands every time i want to eat or drink, and the nerves are completely going haywire all over my face….otherwise, im right on target. I gave up the liquid diet by the end of week one. I went straight to soft foods, but I was given the luxury of not being wired or banded permanently. I can gum pasta like a champ- in fact, Olive Garden gets most of my money these days!

    I have cried more in the last three weeks- than I have in years. Its sort of baffling as to why, but I tend to believe that it is because I have felt so vulnerable. Getting out with friends is tiring and sometimes a hassle, but it sure does cure the blues! I am counting down the days until I can get on my mountain bike and not have the wind hurt my face. Its finally Spring here in Washington and I dont want to miss it!

  593. Bree May 9, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    I always forget to add something…..lol.

    Ask your doctor if he will allow you to use Neilmed…aka Netipot. That thing has been my freedom!! I was going crazy with the stuffy nose until mine suggested it. Mucinex helps as well, but I realized that it was causing my drooling. Try the sinus rinse if they will allow it tho…it does help!

  594. Destani May 9, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    I am having jaw surgery on the 6th of June. They are correcting my cross bite, under bite, open bite, and widening my palate. I am absolutely scared to death. I have read your blog and the comments everyone has posted. It does ease my worries a little. All of your advice and tips are definitely going to be put to use along with following the doctors orders. Thank you!

  595. Graham May 9, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    Destani, the surgery will be worthwhile for you, I’m sure. Keep us posted during the initial few weeks. =)