Sunday, April 2, 2017

Janky No More: 5 Years Later

A lot can happen in five years. For one ... President Trump. 

But also, I'm no longer a journalist -- I moved into marketing back in 2014. That means we can take off the "journalist" from the blog title "The Journalist's Janky Jaw." Additionally, I don't have a janky jaw any more. So, I guess I have to rename this entire blog, or just finish it completely with this final post. 

Five years after my surgery, I can say the process was well worth the ordeal and I'm 100 percent satisfied with the results. 

Today, I can bite completely through a sandwich using my front teeth. I can also bite my nails, which I probably shouldn't. When I smile, I am not shy about showing my teeth. I have little discomfort. The chronic migraines I had in my younger years have decreased. And I breath better when I sleep.

All of these benefits can be attributed to my orthodontic procedure and double jaw surgery that realigned by jaw, and changed the features on my face.

This is me today:

On a more technical note, I wanted to write this final post on the experience of double jaw surgery for those contemplating undergoing the procedure, or currently in the process. Here are some notes post-surgery, five years later:

  •  I have no face or jaw pain, but I still have some numbness on my upper gums. This is understandable considering how much the process disrupted nerves in the area. The numbness does not bother me -- I got used to it quickly.
  • Touching throughout my jaw area with my hands, you can feel the parts where plates and screws have been placed. It feels weird, sure, but again, there's no discomfort.
  • Because of the numbness, it's hard to get a sense of how hard I actually bite. One really hard bite doesn't feel like I'm biting all that hard.
  • My chronic migraines I suffered with since a preteen have reduced significantly. I can't say for sure this is due to my surgery, but it's possible some nerves were altered during the process, and it helped. Dr. Relle suggested this is a possibility. I have stopped taking daily migraine medication since after my surgery.
  • I feel I breathe better, as the shape of my face changed, including my nose. I breathe less loudly when I sleep, too, according to my wife. 
  • I broke my collarbone in four places in 2014, and underwent emergency surgery, as the bone was about to poke through the skin. I went in for surgery at 10 a.m., underwent a 4-hour surgery, was out by dinner time and went out to dinner with my friends that same night. In other words, the recovery was a cinch. I credit my arduous jaw surgery experience for making the collarbone experience relatively easy and painless. Not being able to use my arm for a few weeks was no problem compared to having my jaw shut and being on a liquid diet.
  • I use a retainer for my bottom and top teeth each night. At this point, I've gotten used to them, and I've missed putting them in before bed no more than 5 times in the last five years, so it's a fairly natural part of getting-ready-for-bed for me. 

I think that sums it up. For those interested in my experience and for who followed me along through this journey, thank you for your well wishes. And for those who may stumble across this blog and have questions, please reach out and I'll be glad to help.


The (Former) Journalist

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