Chin Up!: 5 Signs You Might Really Need Jaw Surgery

Jaw pain is no joke. It can be debilitating, but does it always require surgery?

If you have been feeling pain in your jaw lately, there are some causes that don’t require surgery. However, if it is severe or chronic, there is a good chance that you’ll need to get it fixed with a procedure.

Read below to learn the signs that you may need jaw surgery.

1. Improper Bite

If you have an overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite, your orthodontist or dentist will first suggest retainers, braces, or tooth extraction. These are less invasive options that can often solve the problem.

However, if you have a severe improper bite or your jaw bone structure causes it, surgery for your jaw may be required.

2. Protruding or Receding Jawline

A protruding or receding jawline is a good sign that you may need to undergo corrective jaw surgery. This happens when your upper and lower jaws don’t align.

Often, this is apparent in children, but it cannot be corrected until the jaw is fully formed. In this case, children will use braces or headgear to improve the problem until surgery is an option.

3. Facial Trauma

When you break your jaw or teeth in an injury, such as an automobile accident or when playing sports, jaw surgery is often needed to repair any damage that occurred.

Damage to the jaw is quite common, and surgery is the best option to restore symmetry to the face and improve jaw functionality.

4. Chronic Jaw Pain

Chronic jaw pain is a good indicator that you may need orthognathic surgery. The jaw hinge, known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), should work smoothly in a way that you hardly ever notice it.

However, if it is constantly getting locked or it becomes painful when you open your mouth wide, you could be experiencing swelling and tissue deterioration, known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD).

This can often be corrected with the use of retainers and mouth guards, but when it cannot, corrective jaw surgery is your best option.

5. Jaw Tumors and Cysts

So, when do you need jaw surgery? If you experience tumors or cysts on your jaw, there’s a good chance you’ll need jaw surgery to remove them.

The mouth and jaw are more susceptible to tumors and cysts than other parts of the body because they consist of different tissue types, such as muscle, glands, and bone.

Your risk increases if you smoke or drink alcohol. When these tumors or cysts appear, they will need to be removed to reduce the chance of deformities and other problems.

Do You Need Jaw Surgery?

When deciding if you need jaw surgery, use the guide above to assess your symptoms. If you feel you fit into one of these categories, set up a consultation with your dentist or orthodontist today.

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