Thursday, June 17, 2010

surgeon update

Saw Dr. Lee today and we had a nice visit. She says my bite is fine (actually, she said it looks amazing and awesome). She reminded me about the jaw angle thing - that I'm at a HUGE risk for TMJ problems, along with the relapse thing. She'd like me to talk to Dr. Molen about getting a splint for at night - something that will keep my teeth apart and therefore relax my jaw a little bit. She says that the worst/hardest position for my jaw is clenched, so I need to make sure to watch that - and make sure I'm not clenching or grinding at night (I don't think I am, but since my husband is out of the state for a year I have no idea! I'll ask him when I go down to visit next month).

My favorite tech was the one to take the final pictures today and she didn't even recognize me/ realize it was me until she brought up the before pictures. She started crying - no joke - when we compared the pictures, especially the profile. I had (have) AMAZING results. I got a copy of my profile comparison (and then accidently folded it up without thinking) but will scan that in and show you guys soon.

So... She's bummed but not concerned about my jaw pain, and I'm now opening to 40mm which she says is fine. She'd like it a bit bigger but she expected me to lose ROM because of my unhealthy joints. I don't have to do physical therapy exercises - I should just eat and yawn and do everything normally (and not avoid chewing because that will make it worse), and it should continue to improve a little. I can heat and ice to get rid of some pain. I'm supposed to avoid very chewy and tough things, as they'll aggravate my jaw pain.

She doesn't want to do the injections in my jaw, but if the pain becomes unbearable (what IS unbearable, though) or if it's still around in a year, I'm supposed to give her a call... but I can call whenever I'd like, of course.

The best part about the appointment, other than hearing that my bite was okay? Seeing post-op jaw surgery patients and people getting their molds and stuff done. Had a nice conversation with a gentleman about ready to get upper jaw surgery. Almost exactly a year ago I was in that office, doing the exact same thing!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Things aren't really looking so hot for my bite, currently. On Friday I had my first migraine since surgery, and I noticed my bite felt really off. It's been feeling a bit off since I got my braces off, but that's because my bite is settling (and that's a good thing, I'm told).

Well, on Friday afternoon I noticed my bottom front teeth were bumping into my top built-in retainer. It kept happening and kept happening and my jaw was starting to get the shooting, awful pains from right after jaw surgery so I called Dr. Molen's office today and they got me in - Dr. Rick thinks my bite is just settling into a natural position. He thinks the headache and jaw pain were caused by my front teeth bumping the retainer (and therefore not being able to close naturally).

He tried to sand down my retainer so it wouldn't bump anymore, but ended up just taking it out. I go in next Wednesday and he'll re-check everything and I think I'll get new retainers, since now mine are a tiny bit loose since the built-in is gone.

Tomorrow I see Dr. Lee for my final pictures and x-rays, hopefully she'll have some insight on my small range of motion and all this stupid jaw pain.

Overall, though, I'm still glad I had the surgery. I ate corn on the cob tonight for the first time and I was able to eat it neatly and cleanly, 2 rows at a time. Only 1 migraine in a year is just fine with me - and that migraine went away once I took a pain pill and slept through the night - it didn't make me puke until I had to go to the ER or anything.