Wednesday, January 20, 2010

6 month update & before/after photos



Before - lips relaxed

After - lips relaxed

My bite before (back teeth were together - could not get front teeth closer)

Now: Teeth over to the side, but a beautiful lack of open bite! My surgeon also straightened that bottom bit of nose between nostrils.

Profile before

Profile after

Hello after a long time!
All is pretty good. I wish the braces could go NOW but I know they're on for a good reason, and that it could be months yet until my top midline is brought as near the middle as possible (I see my orthodontist next in February and I think I'll find out how long then).
From the photo below you can kind of see the spring thing that's dragging my teeth over. I don't wear any elastic bands, just the spring on my right side. Amzingly it's pretty easy to wear. I can't remove it. It's making gaps that, when pulled together, will pull my front teeth across. There's the gap you can see at the front there and one at least as big between some molars at the back.
My canines have moved so they allow my jaw nice side-to-side motion now. Important for chewing!

The jaw joint issue: still pretty good. My opening at full stretch is 4mm. So, well within normal, and side to side and forwards and back is pretty normal too. I stopped taking the nortriptyline for a couple of weeks and remained at ZERO pain. But then it returned ever so slightly. More of a stiffness and a very slight dull pain, with pretty much no effect on range of motion. I started the nortrip again but it hasn't made any difference (altough probably would if I increased the dose). I am pretty sure my physiotherapist could eradicate it with accupuncture but just out of curiosity I'm going to see how it goes by itself.

It is an enormous change to the awful pain I got from my jaw joint for many weeks after my surgery. The biggest improvement came with the first lot of nortriptyline.
I am a bit shocked to see in my 'no smile' photo above that my lips are still not touching evenly on both sides. On my right upper lip there is still some numbness but it really doesn't worry me. Possibly the slightest-ever sneer of my top right lip is due to some nerve thing but I honestly think that was always the shape of my top lip - not quite symmetrical - but it wasn't so noticeable when my lips never came near touching each other without muscular effort. I am fairly confident that when my lips don't have to stretch over braces they will be fine. And to be honest mostly my lips do touch evenly both sides, it's just that in this photo I was making a super effort to make them totally relaxed in order to give an honest representation of the degree of change.
I still have some numbness in my upper gum. It's hard to tell exactly where but certainly above my front teeth. And the roof of my mouth is numb in patches and super-sensitive in patches where the new nerves have grown back. These things don't bother me at all though.
When I look at these before and after photos I am amazed! It looks like a big change to me, but now when I see people I haven't seen since before the surgery, NONE of them comment on it and if I ask they all say they can't see any difference!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Andrea,

    First to say you are already looked better thanks to the treatment thus far. I know jaw rearrangement and braces can be a gruelling treatment but I am sure that you are already finding some of the benefits. It will be even better when the treatment is complete. I must say, I think it is great when patients decide to blog about their treatment as this can make a real difference to whether other readers are brave enough to go ahead with their own dental work.

    I am writing to you as I feel your followers could benefit from a link to the which would not only give your followers access to information concerning orthodontic treatment and TMJ disorder but about a whole host of dental treatment.

    The Cosmetic Dentistry Guide is the leading provider of cosmetic dental information online in the UK, and includes a forum as well as an expert answers section, so if you or your followers have any questions then feel free to ask.

    Our topics include:

    Orthodontics -
    TMJ Disorder -

    Our homepage is:

    Good luck with the remainder of your treatment and I am sure the results will make it worth it.

    Kind regards and keep up the good work with your blog.