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Malocclusion and Orthodontics (cont.)


For tooth pain from newly installed or adjusted braces for malocclusion, take regular doses of nonprescription pain medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, for 3 to 5 days. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20 without a prescription because of the risk of Reye syndrome, a serious illness that can cause severe liver and brain damage.


Surgery to create better alignment between an adult's upper and lower jaw is sometimes combined with orthodontic treatment for malocclusion.

Surgery choices

Orthognathic surgery treats malocclusion by restructuring the jaw through cutting the bone and repositioning the bone segments.

Orthodontists may remove (extract) teeth to create more space for incoming teeth.

What to think about

Surgery may be the only viable treatment for severe jaw-related problems. Surgeons only perform jaw surgery on adults, after the jaw has stopped growing.

Before deciding on orthognathic surgery, consider getting a second opinion from another surgeon or orthodontist.

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