Friday, February 10, 2012

Day 43 / Out Damn Splint!

Yesterday was a joyous occasion - my splint came out! It took about 3 minutes for my surgeon to snip all the wires and remove that little plastic speech disturber from my mouth, then another minute to remove the last few stitches that hadn't fallen out yet (so much for dissolvable stitches). I was so excited to finally see my teeth and bite. It felt very strange to feel my front teeth touching each other - they have never, ever touched before.

Say cheese!

Pre-surgery pic for comparison

My upper front teeth are a bit mobile (which is very disconcerting) and my far back teeth on both sides don't quite touch (they're close, but no cigar), so I'm elastic-ed shut for at least the next 3 weeks to correct these issues. They're uncomfortable but at least I can take the elastics out to eat. Active orthodontics will start in 3 weeks when my teeth have settled down. Yesterday I just had new wires put in and my orthodontist and his staff took a look at my teeth (this was my first appointment after surgery). They were almost as excited as me to see how the surgery turned out. They also got a good laugh at my request to brush and floss after the old wires were removed - this is an unusual request in an office that sees mostly kids.

On the jaw surgery recovery front, feeling in my upper teeth started coming back this week. My surgeon said it's unusual to get feeling back so soon and that I must be a fast healer. Yay me! The only problem with the feeling coming back so soon is that it has somehow caused me to start clenching and grinding my teeth at night. This isn't something you want to do when your upper jaw is healing, but unfortunately there is nothing that can be done to stop it. To add insult to potential injury, when my lower jaw gets tired of clenching, it opens up wide despite the elastics holding my mouth shut. Grr. Needless to say, I haven't slept much this week. I know it's all temporary so I'm trying to ride it out without too much complaint. 

I'm halfway to being allowed to chew again, although I have to admit that the last 6 weeks haven't been bad at all. It's amazing how many things you can eat without chewing - pretty much everything except crispy/crunchy things. I don't feel deprived at all. The biggest issue (and this is probably a benefit) is that because I need a knife and fork to eat anything, eating on the run is out. I never realized just how much I ate in my car now that I can't do it.