Corrective jaw surgery or orthognathic surgery is commonly done to correct problems related to the growth and development of the jaw skeletal structures.

Indiscriminate or uncoordinated growth of the jaws leads to bite discrepancies as the upper and lower teeth may not meet each other in a coordinated fashion and this can lead to problems with function (the ability to chew and bite properly), speech, jaw joint dysfunction, sleep apnoea, and aesthetic issues.

Jaw growth problems can result in:

  • overbite, where the lower jaw grows too little and/ or the upper jaw grows too much in relation to each other and the facial skeleton
  • underbite, where the lower jaw grows forward too much and/ or the upper jaw growth is too little in the forward direction
  • gummy smile, where there is usually a combination of excessive downward and forward growth of the upper jaw with/ without associated upper lip muscle hyperactivity
  • asymmetry of the jaws, where growth of one side of the jaws is more/ less than the other side

Usually orthodontic (braces) treatment is necessary in conjunction with orthognathic (jaw correction) surgery to treat the issues related to jaw discrepancies and realign both the jawbones and teeth.