There are many abnormalities and medical conditions that can necessitate a need for mouth or jaw repair. The most common conditions that affect the mouth and jaw can be treated to restore both function and appearance.
Contact us online to learn more about our available jaw repair options. Our practice helps men and women from Austin, Round Rock and throughout Texas. Count on our team to help you look rejuvenated through reconstructive and cosmetic procedures.
Some types of overbites and underbites can be corrected without surgery. Surgical bite correction may be needed in the cases of jawbone abnormalities. Left untreated, a misaligned bite can lead to increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Risks of temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJ) also increase. Speech and facial appearance also may be affected by an uncorrected bite.
In an overbite, the upper teeth extend forward, covering the lower teeth. An underbite is less common and is diagnosed when the lower teeth cover the upper. A dental overbite may be corrected with corrective dental work while an underbite caused by jawbone structure requires a procedure to correct.
Cleft Palate Repair
Cleft palate and cleft lip are among the most common birth defects affecting children in the United States, and can occur separately or together. A cleft palate occurs when the roof of the mouth fails to form all the way. A cleft lip is seen when the upper lip never forms completely.
Babies born with a cleft lip or cleft palate can’t create enough suction to nurse properly. Either condition also can prevent correct eating and speaking. Cleft palate repair corrects the palate and lip to restore function, while giving a normal appearance to the upper lip.
Our surgeons are part of the pediatric craniofacial team at Dell Children’s Craniofacial and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Center to deliver the best level of care for children.
Adult Cleft Lip Revisions
For adults who had cleft lip as children and received poor or scarred repairs, the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery of Central Texas offers surgical revisions. Correction of an adult cleft lip requires board-certified plastic surgeons that have the skill and experience to handle the challenges of previous scar tissue. Comprehensive experience with both cleft lip repair and rhinoplasty are important for the best results.
Children who are diagnosed with macroglossia, or an overly large tongue, may have a variety of problems. Nursing, eating, excessive drooling, speech impediment and even breathing problems are common with large tongues. A large tongue can also affect facial appearance due to shifting of the jaw and teeth. A tongue reduction procedure can reduce the size of the tongue in children to correct these issues. The procedure may also be performed in adults with excessive snoring or sleep apnea.
Our younger patients are treated by the pediatric craniofacial team at Dell Children’s Craniofacial and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Center to ensure results that can grow correctly with each child.
If the jawbone becomes damaged, reconstruction is necessary in order to restore appearance and function. Individuals may have a severe change in jaw structure as the result of a serious accident, cancer or infection. Jaw reconstruction rebuilds skeletal structure and restores soft tissues.
Temporomandibular Joint Replacement
If your TMJ symptoms are so painful that you have trouble using your jaw, you may be a candidate for total joint replacement. This procedure replaces the affected bone and joints of the jaw. This may be needed due to systemic joint disease such as arthritis, bone loss, direct trauma or injury, cancer or tumor growth, or physical abnormalities.
Lockjaw is a condition that prevents people from opening their mouth fully. Function loss in the mouth and jaw as a result of a combination of pain and muscle tension is also common in lockjaw. Although the most well-known cause of lockjaw is tetanus, the most common cause is jaw-related problems like TMJ. Lockjaw can sometimes be caused by lengthy dental work. Surgery for lockjaw can reduce pain and restore range of motion. If both the upper and lower jaw need realignment, a double jaw distraction is necessary to fix deformities or inability to chew.
Orthognathic surgery encompasses a variety of jaw procedures that correct jaw misalignment. The goal of an orthognathic procedure is not only to make you look better, but also to make sure that your teeth and jaw work properly. Jaw misalignment can pain as well as problems eating, speaking and even breathing. In some cases, an orthognathic procedure may include aesthetic improvements like chin implants for even better results.