Jaw Surgery Recovery FAQs and Answers

When undergoing jaw surgery, a lot of patients wonder how long it will take to heal after surgery and what they should expect during recovery. It is natural to be curious about how long you will need to be away from school or work, how long it will be before you are back on your feet, and the level of discomfort you will experience during recovery before you can feel like yourself again.

For the better part, predicting healing and recovery times after jaw surgery will be determined on a case by cases basis, and varies from patient to patient. With that being said, here are several general answers to the most commonly asked questions a lot of patients ask about recovery after corrective jaw surgery. 

How Long Should I Expect To Be In Hospital?

The amount of time you spend in the hospital will depend on the type of surgery you undergo, how well you can tolerate pain, and how quickly you heal. Once you are no longer in need of on-demand pain relief, you should be fit to get discharged from the hospital. This is usually after two to three days for adults, and overnight for teens.

How Painful is the Procedure?

As unbelievable as this may sound, the truth is, jaw surgery is not that painful, so you don’t have to worry about experiencing excruciating pain. Some people will feel some level of discomfort because of the jaw’s new positioning, but it won’t be that painful.

Before surgery, your doctor will give you a prescription of all the medications you’ll need throughout post-surgery recovery. It is advisable that you have your prescription filled before undergoing surgery so that all the medicine you need is ready for once you return home. The prescribed medication will help control swelling and minimize discomfort.

Apart from the swelling and minor pain following your jaw surgery, which will be controlled by the medication given, your nerves will also be slightly bruised, meaning they’ll feel little to no pain at all. By the time they return to normal, the jaw’s healing process will already be well underway, and all discomforts will have gone away.

Will I Swell? And If So, How Long Will It Last? 

Once you get back home, you’ll likely experience some swelling for the first two weeks after surgery. In some people, slight swelling will remain for a couple of months until their jaw heals completely.

How Long Does It Take For The Jaw To Heal After Surgery?

It’ll take about Three months for your jaw to heal completely.

Will I Be Able To Eat Anything I Like After Jaw Surgery?

Immediately after surgery, you’ll be limited to a 100% dairy-free liquid diet. For the first ten days, your menu will be restricted to homemade fruit smoothies, and dairy-free protein shakes only. For most people, smoothies will need to be administered via a syringe as chewing won’t be allowed during the first days of the healing period.

Your surgeon will inform you of when it is alright for you to start chewing again. Once you have been given the green light, you will only be able to eat soft foods like mashed potatoes and pasta as your jaws aren’t strong enough yet. However, it is worth noting that it will take some time before you can return to your normal diet. The progress you make in this area will depend on how fast your body heals.

There are also a couple of things that we would advise you to pay close attention to after surgery. It is vital that you stay well hydrated after your surgery, so make sure that you are drinking plenty of water. At the same time, make sure that you’re ingesting adequate amounts of fiber during recovery. Both fiber and hydration intake are vital in ensuring that your digestive system runs smoothly.


How To Cure Tooth Infection Without Root Canal

You have a few options to turn to if you have been found to be in need of a root canal procedure. Are there any alternatives to a root canal? Below we will determine whether you need to undergo a root canal treatment or not; common root canal side effects; and a look at any available natural alternatives you can pursue.

In the US, more than 30 million root canal procedures are performed annually. Most of these are actually not necessary. As such, it’s best to seek a second opinion from a dentist who usually prefers to conserve teeth, immediately after your primary dentist prescribes a root canal.

You have the opportunity to consult another dentist or a couple more, in search of a second opinion if your tooth is not causing you pain.

In most cases, only crowns or high quality fillings are needed for teeth that are initially diagnosed to be in need of a root canal. There are numerous and varied reasons why your dentist fails to offer worthwhile root canal alternatives such as crowns and fillings. 

To begin with, they might not be trained on how to use the most recent composite materials required in these procedures. The alternative procedures may not be as profitable as root canal. Or it might simply be that your dentist has a negative energy. To learn your surgical options, you will need to see another dentist for a second opinion.

When Do You Need To Undergo A Root Canal?

You might be a prime candidate for a root canal if you are experiencing severe pain in addition to a tooth infection that just doesn’t seem to clear up. You might not need to have a root canal if there are no signs of an infection and you are not experiencing any pain.

To determine if the tooth in question is infected, use this resource. You can find out what various types of tooth pain mean by using the list of symptoms to narrow things down. Tooth infections are characterized by the presence of pus filled areas in the gums and swelling that affects more than just the gum. A gum infection on the other hand may be indicated by gum swelling without any pus present.

All tooth swelling and pain is not solely caused by an infection in the root of the tooth. Abscessed gum tissue may also develop swelling. These infections in the gum tissue do not need a root canal to be cured.
Root Canal Side Effects

Through their research, Dentists George Meinig and Weston Price showed that the large central nerve-canal space in the center of the tooth is not all you have to worry about. Radiating throughout the tooth body, there are millions of tiny canals branching off the central nerve canal space. Toxins originating from the nerve canal space can hide within the miles of tunnels making up these tiny tubules.

The electron microscope backed this up. The cleaning action of the tooth lymph fluid and the tooth nerve may be cut-off from these parts of the tooth. The tubules may start to release toxic matter, via microscopic channels in the tooth or between the inner root canal’s gutta percha material and the tooth’s inner layer, into the body, because they act as tiny fermentation compartments. 

Not all root canals lead to the release of toxic and infectious matter into the body. However, most root canals turn out to be toxic when tested.


Different Kinds Of Oral Surgery

There are numerous conditions where oral surgery is warranted.  Although no one looks forward to having surgery, at times it is the only way to ensure optimal oral health.  Before your oral surgery is done, you will be given a detailed treatment plan by your dentist. The dentist will go over anesthesia options with you to make sure you don’t feel any discomfort during the procedure or at least as little as possible.  

After the surgery has been performed, you will need to go through a recovery period.  Many of the procedures require painkillers to be taken following the surgery so that any recovery-related lingering pain can be alleviated.  So do not plan to drive yourself after your oral surgery procedure.  

Oral Surgery For Placing Dental Implants 

With every passing day, dental implant surgery becomes increasingly popular. The procedure involves the teeth being replaced with surgically implanted metal posts.  The post directly connects to the jaw bone via the osseointegration process.  

The connection provides a sturdy foundation on which the crowns and abutments are placed in order to resemble real teeth.  After your dental implants have been placed, it will be hard for people to tell that you are wearing artificial teeth.  It is the ideal surgery option for people who have lost multiple teeth. 

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Third molars, or wisdom teeth, are the last teeth to form fully inside of the mouth.  These teeth in many cases don’t erupt completely or they end up having alignment issues.  Those issues cause the gums, bone, and jaw to impact the teeth, which then affects the nearby teeth’s health as well.  

Tooth Extraction 

The most common type of oral surgery is extracting teeth.  Some teeth cannot be saved through a root canal or other type of dental procedure.  If the tooth is decaying and the nerve inside of the tooth is dead, then your dentist will discuss the tooth extraction method with you and go over the various replacement options. 

Oral Surgery For Jaw Issues 

It has been proven that oral surgeries are successful for a wide range of jaw-related diseases and injuries. For example, unequal jaw growth can be remedied by oral surgery. Surgery can position all or part of the lower or upper jaw or both to enhance balance, health and functionality. If unusual growth within the jaw is ignored, it may lead to issues with breathing, eating, and swallowing.  In jaw growth failure instances, oral surgery may be the only solution that is viable.      


Oral surgery is frequently performed for a biopsy to determine if there is cancer or not.  When a dentist is concerned about a tumor, she or he most likely recommend a biopsy.  Part of the tissue is removed in this procedure  Tissue samples then are tested.  Oral surgery is necessary as well in order to combat certain lesions that are not eliminated by medication.


No matter what your specific condition is, there are different approaches that a dentist will take. Knowing what these procedures involve before you meet your dentist will help you prepare some questions so you know exactly what to expect.


Get your Questions In and I’ll Video Answer Them

Hi all!

Hope everyone’s doing well wherever you are in the jaw surgery process, whether it’s just deciding to begin, pre-surgery or recovering after surgery.

I’d like to try out a new feature where I would answer your questions in video format. Depending on how this first one goes, I could do them once a week or once or month.

All you have to do is post your number one question in the comments below, and I’ll try and include it, along with my answer, in the first video.

So, if you could only ask ONE question about jaw surgery, what would YOURS be?


Wisdom Teeth Surgery – Preparing For Corrective Jaw Surgery

Wisdom Teeth Surgery

Wisdom Teeth Surgery

Before getting any kind of corrective jaw surgery, most people have to undergo wisdom teeth surgery first.

In most cases, wisdom teeth need to be removed anyway, so you may have already had this done.

If not, the surgeon and orthodontist not only need the extra room for hooks and devices, but if your wisdom teeth are still coming in, they could cause crowding or movement that interferes with the rest of the process.

While I’ve heard a few cases of patients getting their wisdom teeth out at the same time as their actual facial reconstructive surgery, most people, including myself, get them taken out a few months before the jaw surgery.

You need at least a few months for your mouth to fully heal before your surgeon can perform the main operation.

I loved the fact that my maxillofacial surgeon was the same one that performed my wisdom teeth surgery, so it was kind of like a trial run for me, especially since I had never been put under before.

The surgery went great and gave me even more confidence in my orthognathic surgeon.

What To Expect With Wisdom Teeth Surgery

The morning of the surgery, my Dad drove me to the surgeon’s office. You will definitely need a ride to and from, because even if you aren’t put fully under, you will probably at least have some type of laughing gas, and you will be out of it afterward.

For my first time being put under, it was pretty uneventful. He told me to count backward from 10, and I don’t even remember getting past 9, then I woke up and it was over.

I was definitely a little out of it, but I felt fine. My cheeks were very swollen for the first week or two, and it’s important not to use a straw during that initial period either, or you risk infection of the sockets where your wisdom teeth used to be.

I followed the instructions and stayed away from straws, but my cousin didn’t and said infected sockets are a very uncomfortable and painful hassle, so please follow your surgeon’s instructions.

Once your wisdom teeth are history, your orthodontist will continue to tweak things with your braces, while you heal up.

The wisdom teeth surgery itself wasn’t a big deal at all, and other than being a little sore and swollen for a week or two, it’s a small bump in the road on the path to your new smile and bite!


Corrective Jaw Surgery – Where Should You Begin?

Corrective Jaw Surgery

Corrective Jaw Surgery

One of the first questions I get on a daily basis about corrective jaw surgery is, “Where do I begin?”

This comes from everyone who already knows they need surgery to someone who just wants to see what their options are and where to start.

The first thing I ask back is whether or not you already have an orthodontist.

If so, that’s where you should start, and there’s two reasons for this.

One, depending on your situation, you may be able to correct your bite with just braces, forgoing the surgery all together. While the surgery isn’t quite as scary as some make it out to be, it’s certainly no walk in the park and would be great if you can truly correct your issue without it.

Also, even if your orthodontist has already suggested surgery, they often know and work with experienced surgeons in your area, so they can give you a referral to set up a consultation.

In every orthognathic case, the orthodontist and surgeon have to work closely together in making sure that each does their job in getting you ready for a successful surgery.

The orthodontist’s job is, surprisingly, to make your bite worse. Huh?! Yeah, but there’s a method to the madness, because the ortho positions your teeth for your new post-surgery bite, so your current bite may get even more out of whack.

Don’t worry though, because the changes are so gradual, you will barely notice until it’s time for surgery anyway.

If you don’t already have an orthodontist, then that’s where you need to start.

Call around, ask some of your metal-mouthed friends, check online, or do whatever you can to find an orthodontist that you are comfortable with and can trust.

Don’t be afraid to go into a few different offices to meet and consult with various doctors, because this guy or gal is going to have their hands in your mouth for the next couple of years.

Once you sit down and discuss your options with your orthodontist, it’s time to set up the consultation with the orthognathic maxillofacial surgeon (sounds scary, right?).

During this initial consultation, come armed with every question you can think of, because this is the first true step in starting the process.

He will assess your overall bite and jaw alignment, and the office may even take new X-rays and molds. He may even be able to tell you if you’re due for underbite surgery, overbite surgery, or both, but don’t be surprised if a final determination isn’t made right away.

Some of the consultations are complimentary, especially if you’re going to go ahead with the surgery, and some charge a fee for the service.

Either way, it is absolutely worth the time and money to meet and consult with as many surgeons as you have to, until you feel completely comfortable and confident in the man or woman that’s going to be breaking your skull and bolting it back together.

Corrective jaw surgery was absolutely 100% worth it for me, but there’s no doubt that it’s a long and complex process, so having a surgeon that is willing to talk to you and answer any questions you have truthfully and honestly is essential to a great experience.

Corrective Jaw Surgery – Where to Begin Podcast


Corrective Jaw Surgery Video – Best explanation I’ve seen yet

This video is an excellent visual demonstration of corrective jaw surgery, specifically upper and lower, which is what I had.

Don’t worry, it’s a digital rendering, so there’s nothing gruesome, but it’s amazing to actually see exactly what happens, where the surgeons cut, how they put it back together, and everything, all in about 60 seconds.

Check it out, and let me know if it was as eye-opening for you as it was for me:

They have a few other videos on YouTube too, if you want to browse around on their channel, but this one really stood out, so I wanted to highlight it here.


Corrective Jaw Surgery Before and After Pics Contest Winner

After Corrective Jaw Surgery: Smile

After Corrective Jaw Surgery: Smile

First, since there seemed to be a little confusion, let me make clear that this corrective jaw surgery contest was never about judging the best transformation, but rather to get people to submit their before and after photos, then selecting a completely random “winner” of the $20 Amazon Gift Card.

There were 13 official entries in the Before and After Pics forum, and they were all great, so thank you so much again to those that submitted. Now we’ve got the foundation of one unified place where future patients can come and see the potential results from real people.

The best part is the diversity of all the submissions, because there are younger, older, male, female, upper jaw, lower jaw, double jaw, you name it!

For complete transparency of how I chose the random winner, here was my process:

I assigned each of the 13 contestants a number of 1-13, then I went to Random.org, entered minimum number of 1, maximum number of 13, clicked Generate, and the result was number 1.

The winning number matched up to Becca.

These are after only 4 weeks post-surgery, so she is healing very quickly, and her swelling is going down very well:

Before Corrective Jaw Surgery: Profile

Before Corrective Jaw Surgery: Profile

After Corrective Jaw Surgery: Profile

After Corrective Jaw Surgery: Profile

Before Corrective Jaw Surgery: Bite

Before Corrective Jaw Surgery: Bite

After Corrective Jaw Surgery: Bite

After Corrective Jaw Surgery: Bite

Before Corrective Jaw Surgery: Front

Before Corrective Jaw Surgery: Front

After Corrective Jaw Surgery: Front

After Corrective Jaw Surgery: Front

Thank you again so much to everyone who helped add to the community, and congratulations on some amazing results and transformations!

You can see here all the Before and After Pics

I’ll try to come up with some more contests too, so if you have any ideas, just let me know.


Corrective Jaw Surgery, Upload Photos, Win a Prize!

Corrective Jaw Surgery - Before and After

Corrective Jaw Surgery - Before and After

Corrective jaw surgery results can be dramatic, but even when subtle, the before and after pictures usually sum up the entire story.

I know how much people like to fast-forward to the ending, because I was searching for before and after photos before my surgery too!

What kind of results will I get?
Will there be a big difference?
Are my family and friends going to recognize me?
Will I look better or worse?
Is my face going to look “fake” a la Joan Rivers?

These are all questions that were racing through my mind, and they are questions that I still get on a regular basis from future jaw surgery patients.

I just set up a brand new section on the official Jaw Surgery Forums to try and further help people find and see real results from real people.

Wouldn’t it have been nice if you could have clicked a few buttons and seen an entire list of orthognathic surgery patients’ before and after photos, PLUS the ability to leave a comment and/or ask a question right underneath?

So, I need your help, and I’m willing to bribe you to get it.

To everyone who has already gone through the overbite and/or underbite surgery or is in the pre-surgery process, please follow the simple instructions in the video below to post your before and/or after pictures on the forums.

The contest will run from August 1st through August 31st, at which point I will randomly select a winner from the forums to receive a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate.

You can use this massive windfall to stock up on jaw surgery supplies or anything else that Amazon.com has to offer.

Of course the thought of genuinely helping out a fellow jaw surgerista should provide at least some extra value too…

Enter yourself in less than 5 minutes:

1. Watch the video below

2. Follow the instructions

3. Cross your fingers until August 31st

P.S. – The forums are located here, and if you have any trouble signing up or logging in, just leave a comment below to let me know, and I’ll be glad to help:


UPDATE: The contest is now closed, and the winner is here, but we can never have enough before and after photos, so please keep them coming!


After Jaw Surgery – 1 and a half years later!