Monday, December 5, 2011

Preparing for Jaw Surgery & Liquid Diet

                For my procedure, I will have both my upper and lower jaws operated on in order to correct my bite. There are a lot of risks with stuff like this, but primarily the big risks are permanent nerve damage and TMJ issues. TMJ issues involve the joint that attaches the lower jaw, which I already have occasional trouble with since the first time I had braces so I figured it can’t get much worse. The permanent nerve damage could be in my face or in my lips or just in part of my face or lips, but this is apparently “rare” for most people, but the risk increases as you get older.

Liquid Diet for 6 Weeks!

                Following the surgery I will have to stay on a liquid-only diet for 6 weeks, followed by 6 more weeks of liquids and soft foods only. During the first 6 weeks I’ll have a sort of bite-guard wired to my upper jaw (I think) to force me to adjust to my new bite and all liquids are consumed through a syringe (no cups, no straws). So… it’s probably not going to be much fun.

                I worried about nutrition, though, so I have taken time to compile and adjust recipes for the liquid diet to make sure I’m getting enough micro and macro nutrients. I want to give my body the best fighting chance at a full recovery!

Information on Jaw Surgery

                I also, like many, scoured the web looking for what other people have done. I found a lot of people who complained of only being able to eat chicken broth or canned Ensure during their liquid diet. I would not survive on that!  I decided that when I finish my menu I’m going to put it into a PDF with all my recipes, nutrition info, tips, and FAQs from my work with my surgeon so I can share it with others who may be in the same situation. I am also getting all of my photos, images, and information from my surgeon so I can show just how bad my open-bite got and how the surgery improved it (knock on wood!).

                My surgery is going to be a week from tomorrow, on December 13th… I was initially told I’d be ready for surgery in December of LAST YEAR, so it’s been a frustrating journey, and I’m really anxious about having the surgery done now but I’ll be so glad when it’s behind me! I might be stuck on a liquid diet throughout the holidays, but I see it as “temporary discomfort for improved long-term quality of life!”

                For anyone that stumbles on this blog post looking for information on jaw surgery, what to expect, or information for help getting through the liquid diet during recovery – stay tuned! I’ll post a link to my site when I finish the page. If you need the info sooner, leave a comment and I’ll email you the information. Thanks!


  1. I'm so happy I stumbled on your blog. I've just started this process with braces (since October 2011). I'm still not quite sure when the surgery will happen. Sooner than later, I hope. I hope. I'm going to watch your posts (allowing for down time of course). Best of luck and I look forward to reading more.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to comment :-)
    Please don't be frustrated if your timeline changes throughout the process... teeth don't always move the way the orthodontist wants or needs them to and so they give a general timeline in the beginning but, as I found out, it doesn't always apply.

    Are you having surgery too? I hope the resources I post soon will help you... I've spent the past 17 months looking on the web for resources and found them to be scarce. I have several websites and thought it might be helpful to create a page just for jaw surgery and braces resources that I've created (for my own personal use) hoping that someone else might be saved the trouble and frustration :-)

    Do keep me posted on your progress! And feel free to contact me or comment if you have questions or need specific info or tips! :-)

  3. Thank you so much! I am a Navy wife heading for this surgery at an East Coast MTF. It is nice to follow your journey!

    1. You can email me if you want. Mine was performed by OMFS at Walter Reed NMMC. I'm finishing the site where I'll post all the research, info, menu planning and recipes so it's not up yet, but the domain will be


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