The American College of Prosthodontists estimates that more than 35 million Americans are missing all their teeth in one or both of their jaws. Additionally, about 20% of the population has some level of significant facial growth deformity.
Issues such as these can be very painful, but they can also deeply a person’s self-esteem. They may feel incredibly self-conscious and may go to some lengths to avoid smiling or may try to hide their deformity.
Fortunately, maxillofacial surgery can do a lot to improve a person’s facial structure and help them eliminate or curb problems involving speaking, breathing and biting. So what is maxillofacial surgery? Simply put, it’s surgery that focuses on treating injuries, defects and diseases associated with a person’s head, face, neck, jaw and the tissues in the mouth, jaws and face.
Whether you know it or not, the jaw is an essential part of your facial structure. Jaws that are misaligned can have effects on a person’s health. Maxillofacial surgery can have positive effects on a person and offers many benefits, including:
- Speech: Misaligned teeth and jaws can affect the way a person speaks. In terms of everyday activity, this one of the most important things a person does. Getting maxillofacial surgery can help improve speech, especially in young children who might be struggling with speech. Surgery can help resolve ongoing sleep issues and help folks get a more comfortable night’s rest.
- Joint pain: One of the most common issues a person can face with a misaligned jaw is chronic pain in that area. It may cause your mouth to stay open, which puts extra strain on your teeth. Fortunately, maxillofacial surgery can help relieve that pressure and relieve people of that jaw pain they might be feeling. Ultimately, it’s going to help people be more comfortable.
- Headaches: Having a misaligned jaw often leads to crippling headaches and pain. Having surgery can go a long way toward eliminating those headaches and pain and usually requires less pain medication when compared to other surgeries.
- Chewing: Folks with teeth problems and misaligned jaws can often have problems with chewing and swallowing. Maxillofacial surgery can help correct issues associated with both things so that they become easier and hopefully eating becomes a more enjoyable experience rather than a painful one.
- Sleep: Misaligned jaws, whether they recess inward or protrude out, can affect how much sleep a person gets at night. Believe it or not, people with misaligned jaws tend to breathe through their mouths and may experience problems breathing and sleeping as a result. Maxillofacial surgery
For people born with misaligned jaws or deformities related to their jaws and teeth, know that something can be done to help. Rather than living in pain or feeling embarrassed, there are many different medical procedures available to make you more comfortable and to properly align your jaws and teeth such as tooth extraction, oral surgery and dental implants. The number of people getting implants is growing by 500,000 a year and more than three million Americans already have them. Making an appointment with an oral surgeon can help determine what might work best for you.