One year after my first surgery, I’m feeling much more positive about the whole experience than even six months afterwards. I still have some residual numbness in my upper gums and right side bottom gums, as well as on the right side of my lower lip and part of my chin. I can feel a little bit of pressure sometimes, but even if more sensation doesn’t come back at all, it’s not that bad. My teeth are still touching on the left side very well, and while I ended up losing a lot of range of motion in my jaw due to scar tissue (at the lowest point, I was only able to open my mouth about an inch), I’ve been slowly stretching it back out again, and I’m currently at an inch and a half. My jaw hasn’t popped or locked up since surgery, and the only time it hurts me now is when I’m stretching my jaw out or if I’ve just gone to the dentist (but even the last time I went, I just massaged between the cleaning and my jaw was hardly even hurting by time I was done). My smile is a little bit different from before (I show less gum now and it’s more symmetrical), but my face is still slightly crooked, which won’t be changing anytime soon unless I have the plastic surgery necessary to give me a more prominent chin and even out my face. I’ve had a few recommendations gleaned from my various doctors that I’m abiding by because they seem to have helped immensely in getting my jaw better:

-no sleeping on stomach or otherwise resting directly on jaw
-no chewing gum
-no overly chewy or hard foods
-keeping tongue so the tip is always touching just behind my alveolar ridge at rest
-no taking large bites of food
-chewing evenly on alternate sides

I’m also still dealing with what I’m presuming to be psychological aftereffects. I’m doing a bit better with not panicking when my mouth is being worked on now, but I’m still having all sorts of problems with getting overheated and lightheaded if I exert myself too much or even just get too warm. I’ve only had this problem since my surgeries, and the only thing I’ve come up with so far is that it’s stemming from when my body was just so focused on healing itself after the surgeries that my temperature control was skewed (those were the days of cold showers since if I were too warm, I would get very light-headed and see black spots in front of my eyes).

June 4, 2005. Uncategorized. No Comments.