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Oral Surgery/Pain and numbness after Maxillo-Mandibular Surgery


QUESTION: I had maxillo-mandibular advancement surgery in Oct 2013. I had the surgery for severe sleep apnea.  Both jaws were moved forward about 1 cm. Sleep study about 8 months after surgery shows mild sleep apnea.  The CPAP is set at a lower setting, from 19 to 11.
However, the pain and numbness is unbearable.
The roof of my mouth is numb as are my gums. My top lip is slightly numb but the bottom lip and chin are miserable. I have chronic shooting pain down one of the right lower front teeth that travels from the tooth down my chin.
I am in my 50s and did not have orthodontic treatment at the time. I had had braces as an adult but my teeth had shifted over the years and my bite was off some prior to surgery.  My bite is worse now and I bite my lower lip and inside my cheeks.
My speech is off and sometimes it is difficult to speak. I also have trouble swallowing and frequently choke.
Any suggestions are appreciated. Thank you. It has been 16 months. Quality of life is miserable and I truly regret having had the surgery.

ANSWER: Debbie - I am so sorry to hear about what you have been enduring.  I sounds like the surgeon traumatized the nerves at both the upper and lower jaw surgical sites.  After a year and a half it is difficult to reverse the process because the nerves have been undergoing trauma for such a long time.  You don't say if you have seen a neurologist.  There are medications that can help to reduce the sensations you are enduring.  As important seems to be the swallowing problem created by the surgery.

You don't say the doctor or where the surgery was performed, but in Texas, where I think you live, there are a number of highly oral and maxillofacial skilled doctors at some of the major medical centers.  So my suggestion is to initially be evaluated by a skilled oral and maxillofacial surgeon initially.  If you could get back to me and let me know where in Texas you live, I can better send you names or the doctors and the medical sites that should be able to help you.

In the interim, I think seeing a neurologist to reduce some of the neurological reactions should be beneficial.  Awaiting your response.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

I have not seen a Neurologist yet. l'll try that. I am in Texas and had the surgery at a military base in San Antonio.
I appreciate your time and suggestions. I look forward to getting the names of Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons.
Thank you.

Debbie - You are fortunate to be in or near San Antonio.  One of the best surgeons is there.  He is the Chairman and Program Director at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.
He is Dr. Edward Ellis.  I suggest you call - (210) 567-3460.  When you call, ask to be examined by
Dr. Ellis initially and not a surgical resident.

I hope Dr. Ellis can help you.  If it doesn't work out, get back to me and I will send you names of other doctors further away.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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