Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ask Bella: Always wear protection

Q: I broke my jaw in three places by falling and landing jaw first on a concrete step. I had surgery immediately after the accident, which resulted in two titanium rods being inserted either side of my chin. I also broke some of my teeth in the fall. I had my mouth wired during the surgery and shut with elastics. I went to see my specialist and he removed the elastics after only 12 days. I still, however, have all the wires in for another four weeks.

The main problem is that my bite is miles from being where it should be. At the moment, only my teeth at the back touch. I am hoping that the jaw will loosen over the next few weeks and may improve my bite, however I'm not very optimistic that it will improve very much.

Would you have any advice here? It looks like I will need the help of a dentist/orthodontist to sort me out!

A: I cringed when I read your story - that must have been so painful.

I'm no expert, but I'm guessing you'll need some orthodontic help to get your bite in order. I was wired with wires and elastics over top for two weeks as well. My surgeon told me that the elastics were there to help level the bite while the jaw was healing, so there would be less work for my orthodontist to do.

Your elastics were likely there to do the same, so if your teeth aren't touching at the front, that means more would need to be done. I hope that everything works out for you.

A friend of mine was telling me about a guy he knew who fell off his bike and broke his jaw. After everything I've been through with my surgery, I'm considering getting one of those full-face bike helmets (here's an example of what they look like: http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442621427&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302693161&bmUID=1215389828047) so that if I fall, my jaw, as well as my brain will be protected. Hey, a gal can never be too careful.

Good luck with everything - I hope the rest of your recovery is a smooth one.

*To ask Bella a question about her jaw surgery, email her at smilingbella at gmail dot com or leave a comment on this post. Go ahead: ask away!!

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