March 15, 2023
Medically Reviewed By Matthew T. Streelman, DDS, MD

Female model for corrective jaw surgery | mercer island oral & maxillofacial surgeryEvery surgical procedure comes with its own recovery process, and corrective jaw surgery is no exception. You might be surprised to learn that recovering from corrective jaw surgery is not as difficult as it may seem. Here is more information on recovering from corrective jaw surgery.

Types of Corrective Jaw Surgeries

There are many different types of jaw surgeries that can address health conditions and cosmetic concerns. Here are some of the most common types of corrective jaw surgeries:

Maxillary Osteotomy

This surgery is performed on your upper jaw in order to correct issues associated with open bites and cross bites. Maxillary osteotomy aligns your upper jaw and teeth with your lower jaw.

Mandibular Osteotomy

This surgery addresses the lower jaw and is often the preferred method for surgeons. With this procedure, your lower jaw moves into alignment with your upper jaw.

Genioplasty

This surgery corrects a chin that is either misaligned in relation to the lower jaw or a chin that is too small or crooked.

Recovery

The recovery process will look different depending on the type of jaw surgery you receive. Although the recovery process is varied, there are some common factors in the healing process.

For one thing, your jaw will take around 6 weeks to initially heal after surgery. At this point in the process, if it is part of your treatment plan, we will finish aligning your teeth with hardware, like braces. Your jaw generally needs 12 weeks after surgery to heal completely.

Tips for Recovery

When recovering from jaw surgery, the first thing you need to do is rest. Your jaw is in a delicate place immediately following surgery. Blood clots have formed around your jaw to stop bleeding and help protect your bone and nerves. If you do a lot of lifting, bending, driving, or other activity, you risk dislodging the clots, which causes bleeding.

Limit talking, eating, and drinking the first 24 hours after surgery. During recovery, eat several small meals throughout the day rather than three big ones. Eat easy, soft foods, and drink a lot of fluids. But avoid drinking through straws, so the blood clots do not get knocked loose. 

Keep your head elevated to ease swelling. During the day, try to stay in a seated or slightly reclined position to facilitate healthy blood flow. At night, sleep with two or three pillows to keep your head elevated.

During the 12 weeks of healing time after jaw surgery, the more you take care of yourself, the easier the recovery process will be for you.

Want to Read More About Corrective Jaw Surgery?

At Mercer Island Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery in Issaquah, we believe that empowering patients with knowledge is the best way to ease any discomfort around procedures. 

Learn more about corrective jaw surgery.