The literal meaning of orthognathic surgery is “surgery to create straight jaws”. Orthognathic surgery is also known as corrective jaw surgery. It is a technique by which the upper or lower jaw can be moved into a new position.
Jaw growth is a slow and gradual process. Occasionally, there are discrepancies in the amount of growth and the jaws may develop at different rates. One or both jaws may grow too much or too little resulting in a facial deformity. Alternatively, one side of the face may fail to develop properly or may grow too much creating facial asymmetry. The resulting abnormality can produce a malocclusion or a “bad bite”. This can in turn lead to eating and biting problems and speech abnormalities. In addition, the improper alignment of the teeth may threaten the long-term health of the teeth and gums, and can also adversely affect the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Orthognathic surgery may be needed to correct the problem.