Corrective Jaw Surgery

Corrective jaw surgery will reshape or reposition the jaw bones. The surgery may be done on the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both. This surgery may also be called:

  • Call Your Doctor

    Call your doctor if any of these occur:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, a lot of bleeding, or discharge from the surgery site
    • Foul smelling breath
    • Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medicines you were given
    • Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you were given
    • Spitting or vomiting blood
    • New, unexplained symptoms

    If you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.

  • Definition

    Corrective jaw surgery will reshape or reposition the jaw bones. The surgery may be done on the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both. This surgery may also be called:

    • Maxillary osteotomy—upper jaw
    • Mandibular osteotomy—lower jaw
    The Upper and Lower Jaw Bones
    nucleus fact sheet image
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    This surgery is done to correct a problem of the jaw bone.

    The jaw is the platform for the teeth. Certain jaw problems make it difficult for the upper and lower teeth to line up correctly. The misalignment can cause:

    • Difficultly chewing or biting
    • Speech problems
    • Challenges with breathing
    • Problems breathing during sleep such as sleep apnea
    • Jaw pain

    The surgery may also be done to repair cosmetic problems. This may include receding chin, protruding jaw, or lips that don’t meet. It may also be done to repair problems from:

    • Facial injuries
    • Birth defects
    • Genetic conditions
    • Bone disease or conditions that affect bone growth

  • Possible Complications

    Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:

    • Numbness or pain in sinuses, ears, or teeth
    • Excess bleeding
    • No improvement in symptoms
    • Poor cosmetic outcome
    • Adverse reaction to anesthesia (such as light-headedness, low blood pressure, wheezing)
    • Infection
    • Nausea and vomiting

    Factors that may increase the risk of problems include:

    • Smoking
    • Bleeding disorders
    • Medical problems, such as heart disease

    Talk to your doctor about these risks before the procedure.