My Double Jaw Surgery: 2 Weeks After
So it's officially been two weeks since undergoing double jaw surgery to advance both my mandible and maxilla to improve my airway space to treat my sleep apnea. My facial appearance is pretty normal at this point, as about 80% of the swelling has resolved, although my lips still do not fully function so my smile is somewhat lopsided. Plus I still have a splint attached to my upper teeth, so a toothy grin doesn't look so great now. This is about as good as it gets at this point:
Still a bit of the bruising which has sunk down onto my chest, but overall a big improvement in the past week, so I'll take it.
I had initially planned 2 full weeks off work, and I'm glad I did. I've only just started back into a normal routine of getting into the gym more, taking the kids to and from school and then to the park; basically putting myself into situations of normal socialization, which only just now feels comfortable. And the plan is to go back to my normal work schedule as a periodontist tomorrow. It's still difficult to speak with the splint in my mouth, but I've already warned my staff that I won't be doing my typical amount of chatting, and asked them to inform my patients of the situation.
Luckily, I won't have the upper splint for much longer, because I was able to visit my orthodontist today, Dr. Camille Walker. She needs to make an upper retainer to cover the hole in my palate, called an oronasal fistula. They had to take the splint out of my mouth to do the impression, and wow, was it a relief to get it out, even if just for a short time. It has been wired into place, so I had been unable to effectively clean around it, and to be honest it had been grossing me out. Plus, remember that I have a hole in my palate, so I kept trying to use mouthwash but could never tolerate it very long, because it does not feel nice coming out of your nose, and that seemed to be the only place it ever wanted to go. So despite my best efforts at using go-between brushes and a waterpik, the splint was in pretty bad shape (and stinky!) when they took it out. So of course I rushed to the sink and brushed. And brushed again. And then one more time for good measure.
She attempted to take digital impressions of my maxillary arch to construct an upper retainer, but my mouth opening is still very limited - I can only put a sideways finger in and my jaw just stops moving (and hurts from muscle spasms). So the digital impression didn't work, but they were able to do an alginate impression (the typical dental impression that involves a goopy material that hardens up while in your mouth), and sent it off to the lab as a rush order so that we can get it back by the end of the week. Unfortunately the splint wouldn't stay in without being wired in, so we cleaned it up and fastened it back on, sigh...
Due to the limited mouth opening, my diet has not changed much. Still doing LCHF to keep the inflammation low and therefore maximize the healing process, and still limited to liquids, soups, and very soft foods, like yogurt.
The jaw issues, or TMD, have continued to wake me up at night, so I've been taking muscle relaxers some nights as well as occasional ibuprofen. I've noticed some improvements in the day, but after even short amount of speaking my jaw will get sore and tired. I'm confident I will see more improvements in the coming week though.