Saturday, November 8, 2014

Updates - 5 years post-op

I've gotten an influx of emails with questions and concerns lately, and I thought I'd give another update.  It's been 5 and a half years since I had jaw surgery.

Aesthetics: I love my face now.  I spent a lot of time after jaw surgery hating how I looked - but dont worry, 't just took time to adjust.  A lot of time getting used to seeing something different in the mirror.  Pre-braces and jaw surgery, I didn't smile much because my teeth were so terrible.  Now, I smile all the time and get compliments on how nice my smile is.

Numbness: It hasn't improved at all since my last post - it's exactly the same.  It still doesn't bother me in the least.  Funny things: I can't feel food if it's on one of the really numb spots on my chin... and since most of the people I hang out with don't remember I had jaw surgery - they don't realize I can't feel the food.  Also, if you run your finger lightly down my chin I instantly drool.  My husband thinks that's hilarious.  I'm not so sure.

Retainers: 4+ years since getting my braces off I can go a few days sans retainers without my teeth instantly going crooked.  I sleep in my splint about once every 3 weeks - only when I have a bad jaw pain day.

Jaw Pain: It's better than it was pre-jaw surgery, but I do have jaw pain a few times a week.  It's the worst on days where I play a lot of clarinet or eat a lot of chewy or crunchy foods.  It's not bad.

Jaw mobility: I've struggled with jaw mobility post-surgery.  I still have almost no side-to-side or front-to-back motion.  When I do accidentally try to force my jaw outside of it's normal trajectory, it's really painful and shocking - mind-numbingly, stomach nauseating painful.    BUT!  My jaw opening is pretty much back to normal - as you can see in the last photo.

I'm really glad I had jaw surgery.  I love my smile, I love not having migraines every day, I love not having massive amounts of jaw pain.  The lack of mobility and numbness are not really bothersome.

So, to conclude - here are some photos of my smile over the last few years.  Quite a difference!  If I can be of any help - email me at sheppard[dot]stephanie[at]gmail[dot]com.  I don't read comments on entries, because they're mostly spam bots.