Orthognathic surgery is a combination of jaw surgery and orthodontics. Correcting jaws that don't align properly is a common reason for jaw surgery.

Jaw surgery is appropriate after growth stops, usually around age 13 to 15 for females and age 16 to 18 for males.


Jaw surgery may help to:

  • Make biting and chewing easier and improve chewing overall
  • Minimize excessive wear and breakdown of the teeth over years of use
  • Correct facial imbalance, improving the appearance of deficient chins, underbites, overbites and crossbites
  • Restore balance (symmetry) to middle and lower facial features
  • Improve "gummy" smiles, where the lips don't fully close or pull upward and show large areas of the gums
  • Improve "toothless" smiles, where the lips cover all the teeth
  • Reduce the risk of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder and other jaw problems
  • Repair and correct post-traumatic facial injury, defects and abnormalities
  • Provide relief for sleep apnea
Feb. 21, 2014