Can Jaw Surgery Relieve Difficulty Chewing and Biting?

Jaw surgery changes lives, improves bites, and beautifies smiles. Corrective jaw surgeries are a specialty of our oral surgeons here at Hill Country Oral Surgery in Austin, TX. Learn more about jaw surgery. Find out if you’re a candidate. Finally, call us at 512-327-7233 to schedule a consultation with one of our oral surgeons.

What Can Jaw Surgery Do for Me?

Jaw surgery is a versatile procedure that can correct a host of major and minor dental problems. In some cases, it is used for cosmetic changes, but generally, the primary goal of jaw surgery is to correct functional problems of the jaw and teeth.

What can jaw surgery do for you? This procedure treats many common dental problems including:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Gummy smiles
  • Jaw pain
  • Headaches
  • Facial injuries and trauma
  • Chronic mouth breathing
  • Gaps between the teeth or lips when the mouth is closed
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Unbalanced facial appearance
  • Weak or receding jaw/chin
  • Sleep apnea
  • Excessive wear of the teeth

If you have any of the conditions on this list, come in for a consultation with one of our surgeons. Jaw surgery may not be the right fit for you, but when it is, it can dramatically improve symptoms, often completely resolving medical or dental complaints.

Jaw Surgery to Improve Chewing or Biting

Jaw surgery is often used to correct alignment issues between the upper and lower teeth. When the teeth and jaws don’t meet properly, biting and chewing difficulties can arise. Moving the jaws so the teeth meet up can improve jaw function. It can also make it easier to eat and chew. In addition to functional benefits, many patients notice an improvement in their smile’s appearance after jaw surgery.

Orthodontics and Jaw Surgery- Which Option Do I Need?

Orthodontics, like braces or invisible aligners, are often used to move the teeth. This can correct some bite and alignment issues but not all of them. If the jaw bones aren’t in alignment, getting the teeth into alignment can be difficult or impossible. We’ll work closely with your orthodontist to create a surgical plan that complements your orthodontic goals. Jaw surgery complements orthodontics for many of our patients.

Addressing only teeth alignment and neglecting jaw positioning and function can lead to long-term dental problems later. Uneven jaws can cause orthodontic shifting, poor facial aesthetics, periodontal issues, and joint pain if they aren’t properly treated and addressed. Jaw surgery creates a strong foundation for future dental work.

Preparing for Jaw Surgery

If you need jaw surgery, call our Austin, TX oral surgery practice to schedule a consultation. We provide a complete and comprehensive consultation using both models and x-rays. We use 3D models and computerized techniques to show patients alignment issues and to illustrate the positive impact that jaw surgery will have. You’ll see how your bite will improve and how your appearance will change.

We’ll work closely with your other dental providers, including your general dentist and your orthodontist. Jaw surgery is a delicate procedure and requires a collaborative approach for the best results.


Common Post-Extraction Complications

Complications can and do happen after tooth extraction. Lower your chances of common extraction complications by following your recovery instructions carefully.

Common Complications After Extraction

What complications are most common after an extraction? What can you do to avoid these complications? Learn more below:

  • Poor Pain Control – Take your pain medications on a regular schedule. Don’t wait until you feel pain. We recommend taking your first dose of pain medication shortly after surgery before the surgical anesthetic wears off. Taking your medications on schedule provides better pain control and less discomfort.
  • Excessive Bleeding – Changing the gauze too soon or too often can result in excessive bleeding. Moisten the gauze, place it over the surgical site, and leave it in place for a full hour. Replace the gauze every hour until it is pink upon removal and then discontinue gauze use. Contact us if you’re ever concerned about bleeding levels or if you have trouble controlling the bleeding.
  • Nausea – Some patients are sensitive to pain medications. Take your medications with food to reduce the risk of nausea after surgery.
  • Dry Socket – Dry socket is one of the most painful post-extraction complications. It occurs when the blood clot is dislodged too early. Dry socket can be very painful and does not respond to pain medications. Prevent dry socket by not smoking, avoiding the use of straws, keeping your mouth clean, and limiting physical activity. If you experience dry socket, contact us immediately. We can relieve your pain using medicated dressings.
  • Swelling – Ice can reduce swelling for the first two days after surgery. Sleep in an elevated position. After two days, use heat to break up any bruising.
  • Infection – Good hygiene is essential after an extraction. Use salt water rinses after eating and drinking (except water). Brush your teeth normally, but use care around the extraction sites. Some patients may need to take an antibiotic to lower their infection risk.

To avoid extraction complications, follow your recovery instructions carefully. We are here to help. Please get in touch by contacting Hill Country Plastic Surgery at 512-327-7233 if you have any questions or concerns.

My tooth was knocked out! What do I do now?


No matter how careful we are with our teeth—accidents happen. A tooth that’s been knocked out, also known as avulsed tooth, can be saved and re-implanted back. However, it still depends on how the tooth is treated while it is outside the mouth. Acting quickly and wisely is the key to saving an avulsed tooth.

What You Can Do

When the tooth gets knocked out, the most important step is to remain calm — do not panic. Though the nerves and supporting tissues are damaged during tooth avulsion, a root canal procedure can bring the tooth back to its place. Rushing to the dentist as soon as possible will increase the chances of saving a tooth. It is also important to avoid damaging the tooth even more. The following are the steps that you can take to help you preserve an avulsed tooth:

  • Try not to touch the root of the tooth—the end of the tooth that was attached to the gums. It may worsen the damage.
  • If the tooth gets dirty, you can wash it using milk while holding it by its crown. If there’s no milk, you can rinse it with water. Remember not to dry it with a cloth or any fabric.
  • Always keep the tooth moist. You can do this by filling a glass with milk, and putting the tooth inside. If there’s no milk, you can keep it in your mouth, between your cheek. However, a child may not be able to this without swallowing the tooth. For children, you may ask the child to spit an amount of saliva in a glass, where the tooth can be placed. If none of these are possible, you can place the tooth in a glass of water.
  • Try to put the tooth back into its socket. There are many instances that the tooth will slip back to its place without you needing to put pressure on it. Make sure it is facing the right way, but never force it back in its socket. If the tooth can’t slip back to its location, the best thing to do is to keep it moist.

What the Oral Surgeon Can Do

If the tooth is still in a good condition, the oral surgeon might be able to put it back in its socket. The procedure can be easy or complicated depending on how damaged the tooth is. After examining the tooth and performing an X-ray to assess the condition of the tooth, the oral surgeon may attach the avulsed tooth next to healthy teeth. This would allow proper support so your tooth can deal. The oral surgeon will then decide how long the splint should remain until the tooth is fully healed. Usually, if the tooth is not damaged, it will take about six to eight weeks until it is repaired. The more damaged the area is, the longer it will take for its full restoration.

Get Optimal Oral Health!

Your teeth need proper care. If you or someone you know have an avulsed tooth, do the steps above and rush them quickly to our clinic. Achieve a more confident smile by reaching out to Hill Country Oral Surgery for your oral health needs.

What do Facial Trauma Specialists do?


A facial injury can do more than physical damage: it can affect your daily life and bring about emotional trauma. If you’re seeking help for repairing facial trauma, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than a facial trauma specialist. At Hill Country Oral Surgery, our facial trauma experts strive to help patients heal their facial trauma and regain their self-confidence and sense of normalcy.

What Is a Facial Trauma Specialist?

Facial trauma specialists are surgeons who specialize on treating and fixing injuries of the face. Medical professionals like oral and maxillofacial surgeons are considered to be facial trauma specialists. A maxillofacial, or facial, trauma can involve soft tissue injuries like burns, bruises, nasal fractures, fractures of the jaw, and eye injuries. Facial trauma specialists are specifically trained and are uniquely qualified to manage such injuries. These experts don’t just consider how the fractures and physical damages will be treated, but they also use cosmetic skill and artistry to make the results as natural and aesthetically pleasing as possible. Facial trauma specialists typically treat the following injuries:

  • Facial lacerations
  • Intra oral lacerations
  • Avulsed (knocked out) teeth
  • Fractured facial bones (cheek, nose or eye socket)
  • Fractured jaws (upper and lower jaw)

Facial Trauma Specialist Emergency Care Responsibilities

Though facial trauma is unlikely fatal, in several cases it can be deadly. During an emergency care, facial trauma specialists look at many factors to assure the patient’s safety. The most important elements to consider once the patient has been brought to the emergency room is the status of the airways, cervical spine, and blood circulation.

Maxillofacial injuries are usually complicated by a compromised airway. Location of the injury, the severity of the damage, the type of damage, and the patient’s condition (i.e. if he’s intoxicated with drug or alcohol) are several factors that may cause an obstruction in the air passage. Because a blocked airway can be fatal to the patient, the facial trauma specialist secures the patient’s airway condition to guarantee his safety.

The proximity of the cervical spine to the facial injury must be considered in the event of a maxillofacial trauma. From 1%-10% in all facial trauma scenario, the spine is affected, which typically results to more serious damages in health. The facial trauma specialist will assess the patient, depending if he is awake or unconscious, and perform a series of tests to determine if the spine is affected by the injury.

After addressing breathing problems, the facial trauma specialist will look for signs of damage in the circulatory system. The face has a large blood supply, which when damaged can result to a fatal hemorrhage. Bleeding must be controlled if the facial trauma causes excessive blood loss. Facial trauma specialists are well-trained to specifically manage these emergency scenarios.

Facial Trauma Specialist Acute Treatment Responsibilities

Acute treatment for facial trauma is usually done within 72 hours after the incident. This is a crucial stage of treatment. Necessary steps must be performed to prevent muscle atrophy. During the acute treatment, airway and hemorrhage issues are as well addressed. Facial trauma specialists perform necessary treatments to prevent the aggravation of infection, defect in appearance, and other life-threatening risks.

Facial Trauma Specialist Long-Term Reconstruction Responsibilities

Facial trauma reconstruction is also one of the responsibilities of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Long-term reconstruction may involve multiple aesthetic surgeries to reduce the damage of the facial injury. After the patient’s health has been addressed, a series of reconstructive surgeries may be recommended depending on the severity of the facial damage.

Facial Trauma Specialist Rehabilitation Responsibilities

Rehabilitation of maxillofacial trauma patients is another responsibility of a facial trauma expert. Damages brought by a facial trauma may cause impairments to facial tissues and muscles. These damages may lead to paralyzed facial movements and the inability to perform normal tasks. Prosthetics may be suggested as part of the rehabilitation. The facial trauma specialist will perform and suggest specific medical therapies to restore motor function like chewing and speech and to help the patient achieve normal oro-facial appearance.

Learn More About What a Facial Trauma Specialist Can Do

Our highly-trained, and well-experienced facial trauma specialists always give their best to every patient who needs medical care after a facial trauma. Aside from their physical treatments, our surgeons also help patients recover their self-confidence and mental strength. Find out more about what our facial trauma specialists can do. Reach out to Hill Country Oral Surgery today!

Wisdom Tooth Surgery Recovery


Your dentist may suggest a wisdom tooth removal (or third molar surgery) for various reasons. It could be to prevent further oral complications or to help maintain how well your teeth look. Once your wisdom tooth has been removed, it’s wise to follow all aftercare instructions for your safety and fast recovery.

What to Do After the Surgery

For Swelling

It’s natural to have some swelling after your tooth has been extracted. To help with swelling, apply an ice pack to the outside of your mouth. Do it intermittently; for example, you can apply it 20 minutes on, and then 20 minutes off. If the treated area was infected prior to the procedure, your dentist may suggest using warm, moist compresses rather than ice. You should do this within two days to minimize bruising or any discomfort.

For Bleeding

Bleeding will occur after your surgery for up to 24 hours. Try to avoid spitting as it may dislodge the blood clot from the surgery site. You may be asked to keep a gauze pad over the extraction site 30 minutes after the procedure. It is also an option to use a wet tea bag and place it over the treated site for 30 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag will help contract the bleeding vessels that will eventually set the blood clot.

Cleaning Your Mouth

Typically, your dentist will allow you to brush your teeth or use mouthwash 24 hours after your surgery. However, in some cases, patients are permitted to use diluted mouthwash or salt water for mouth cleansing 12 hours after the procedure. Practice care when brushing teeth, especially at the site of extraction. You may also need to avoid doing rigorous exercise, smoking, or spitting for as long as there is bleeding.

Limitations on Food

Eating, drinking, and talking should be limited for at least two hours after the surgery. Once the bleeding stops, you can only drink clear liquids and eat soft food. To avoid dislodging of the treated site, you will be asked to avoid carbonated drinks. You must also refrain from eating foods like popcorn, pasta or peanuts that may leave particles in your socket.


Your doctor will prescribe medicine that will help you manage pain and prevent infection. Follow your doctor’s instructions exactly as directed. If you take a strong narcotic medication, you must avoid driving or operating machinery as well as drinking alcoholic beverages.

When to Reach out to Your Dentist or Surgeon

Swelling and bleeding at the treated site will improve as the days go by. If you experience or notice unusual changes or no improvement of the extracted site, you may need to call your dentist. Here are some of the symptoms and signs to look out for that suggest you need to see your doctor:

  • Swelling gets worse
  • Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
  • Excessive bleeding despite of applied pressure
  • Throbbing pain 3-4 days after the surgery
  • Consistent bad taste in the mouth that cannot be removed by rinsing
  • Elevated fever
  • Pus in the socket
  • Nasal discharge in the form of pus or blood
  • Persistent numbness

Know More About a Wisdom Tooth Surgery

Our highly trained medical staff will be happy to inform you about a third molar surgery. Schedule a consultation to find out if you need a wisdom tooth surgery, or if you need a professional help after getting one.