Yesterday (12/04/2019) I started my maxillofacial surgery journey. Well, the journey actually started years ago but I didn’t feel there was a need to document it as I was just attending a few appointment’s, having really horrid photos taken and some x-rays.
Maxillofacial surgery was considered when I was a child, I was around seven years old when our family dentist talked about my underbite. No one in my immediate family had an underbite so it was seen as unusual.
‘An underbite is a term for a dental condition characterised by lower teeth that extend outward farther than the upper front teeth. It can create a bulldog-like appearance in the mouth and face.’
Our family dentist informed us that my underbite could be treated but the treatment would be a long process. It was best to start when I was approaching my teen years. I was referred to an orthodontist at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.
Firstly I had too many teeth. I remember having to have a lot of teeth removed when I was around nine and then oral surgery at thirteen to remove two teeth from the roof of my mouth.
After the surgery I had braces applied to my bottom teeth and so began my maxillofacial surgery journey. The journey was short lived. I don’t know what happened, it may have been fear, all I know is that I didn’t go through with the double jaw surgery ( maxillofacial surgery ).
I put the idea of maxillofacial surgery to the back of my mind. I grew up and learnt to hide my underbite. I would smile a certain way and tilt my head in photos to hide my wonky jaw.
I didn’t give maxillofacial surgery another thought until I became a mother. It was then I started to think about what I would do if my son had an underbite. With this in mind I decided I wanted the surgery after all.
My bite has caused me a few problems over the years, pain, digestive issues and confidence problems. I think I always knew deep down that surgery was the best option for me.
I visited my family dentist (same dentist since childhood) He said I was still able to have maxillofacial surgery but the waiting list was long.
And that was six years ago. Since my referral to the maxillofacial surgeon, I have had numerous appointments for x-rays, photos and informative talks with my surgeon. I have also had to discuss my mental illness after a consultant noticed old scars on my arms.
I was told that I could have the surgery and that treatment would be carried out over a period of two years, starting with orthodontic treatment to reposition my teeth with fixed appliances (train-track braces). Around half way through treatment I will have the jaw surgery.
After maxillofacial surgery I will continue to wear my braces for up to six months and after that I will wear a retainer for a short while.
So yesterday was the beginning of my treatment. I had the train-track braces applied. It was not painful, just a little uncomfortable. I had my mouth open for over an hour so my jaw ached.
Before I left the hospital I was giving a prescription for some high fluoride toothpaste, a little toothbrush for getting between the brace and some wax to apply to my brace if it starts to rub against my cheek.
I went home and found my teeth felt sensitive to hot and cold drinks. I found I couldn’t chew my food properly. I made a curry with rice for tea and it was very uncomfortable to eat. I could feel the food getting between the brace.
I am someone who can’t stand the feeling of food in my teeth, I floss daily! So after eating I had to brush between my teeth with the little toothbrush I was given.
Last night the pain become worse and I found myself taking paracetamol. The pain eased but my teeth still felt really sensitive. I did manage to have a full nights sleep.
I woke this morning in more pain than the night before. My teeth are still really sensitive and I have only managed to eat a bowl of oats. I have been drinking lots of fluid but the thought of chewing a meal goes right through me. Tonight I am going to have some soup.
My orthodontist did say that braces on an adult can be more painful. As a child our bones are still developing, we are more resilient and we can recover quicker. As an adult our bone development has pretty much come to an end and therefore we can experience more pain.
So there we go, day one of my journey. I will be documenting my maxillofacial surgery on my blog and on my YouTube channel. If you would like to join me, please subscribe and follow me on:
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