My son didn't recognise me after I got surgery to correct my underbite

My son didn’t recognise me after I got surgery to correct my extreme underbite – it was more painful than childbirth

  • Meghan Potts had eight-hour surgery in 2019 and says it took a year to recover
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A mother who struggled with her extreme underbite for years has revealed how her own son didn’t recognise her following double corrective jaw surgery. 

Meghan Potts, 33, from Plymouth, decided to have the procedure in 2019 and described it as ‘more painful than childbirth’.

The salon owner was forced to follow a liquid diet in the weeks that followed and lost over a stone as a result. 

Once the swelling in her face finally reduced, the mother-of-four says her phone’s facial recognition function no longer worked and customers even mistook her for the ‘new girl’ at work.

The mother was offered braces for the first time when she was 12 – but she turned down the offer as she didn’t want them in her teenage years. 

Meghan Potts, 33, from Plymouth, pictured before she had major surgery to correct her extreme overbite

She explained: ‘I was embarrassed as they weren’t cool back when I was that age […]

‘I was already so self-conscious I couldn’t bear the idea of people at school taking the mick out of me more than they already did. 

‘Growing up in an environment where my siblings would take the mick out of me or make comments, it meant I was quite uncomfortable eating in front of people.’

As a result, Meghan got into the habit of never smiling with her mouth open.

Later regretting her decision not to have braces, the mother – then in her late 20s – asked her dentist if there was anything that could be done about her underbite. 

She continued: ‘I went as an adult because my teeth were still bothering me and was referred to the NHS. 

‘They basically said I’d need braces then double jaw surgery for my underbite.’ 

The major surgery involved moving both Meghan’s top and bottom jaw by sawing into the bone and putting plates below her eyes which connect to her teeth. 

The mother-of-four says customers at her salon mistook her for the ‘new girl’ following her double jaw surgery in 2019

Meghan spent five days in hospital following the major double jaw surgery. The procedure involved moving both Meghan’s top and bottom jaw by sawing into the bone and putting plates below her eyes which connect to her teeth

Left: Meghan Potts pictured before her surgery. Right: The mother-of-four poses for a selfie showing off the results of the double jaw surgery

She explained: ‘They completely separate your top jaw above your teeth from your skull, so that gets separated and moved forward and plated.

“The plates sit just underneath my eye sockets and go down to my teeth.

“My bottom jaw had two pieces of bone removed on either side and then my jaw was moved backward and plated.

“That’s all done inside your mouth so you don’t have scars on the outside.

On top of this, Meghan had to spend five days recovering in hospital afterwards.  

She explained: ‘The surgery was between seven and eight hours long, as they do it inside your mouth they have to open it really wide to move it around where they need to cut and drill. 

The mother-of-four said the surgery was ‘worse than childbirth’ and spent five days recovering from the jaw surgery in hospital

Left: Meghan shares a photo of her teeth in the days after her surgery. Right: The mother says her entire jaw, mouth and lips swelled as a result

Left: Meghan tries to reduce the swelling in her face with a cold compress. Right: The mother pictured while she was still on her liquid diet

Left: Scans showing Meghan’s jaw following her corrective. surgery. Right: The mother shows her painful teeth during her recovery

Meghan (pictured before and after her 2019 surgery) says the change to her face was so immediate that she couldn’t unlock her phone with the facial recognition function 

‘I was in hospital for five days. The pain was really bad. I’ve had four babies and it was worse than any of that.

‘I woke up screaming in pain. I could feel everything as the pain relief they’d given me wasn’t enough. 

Once she was feeling a bit better, Meghan tried to call her parents – but her phone’s face ID function no longer worked. 

Explaining how her son didn’t even recognise her at first, she added: ‘I looked completely different straight away. 

‘My son came in the hospital and he wouldn’t come near me because he was like ‘you look completely different’. 

Looking back, Meghan says she is happy that she didn’t know just how bad the pain was going to be. 

Meghan says it took a year for her jaw to settle down again following the eight-hour double jaw surgery

The mother (pictured before, right, and after, left, her surgery) says she taught herself never to smile with her teeth showing as a teenager

She said: ‘Pain wise, had I known, I’d probably have found it difficult to go ahead with the surgery. It was unbearable.

‘It probably took a good year for all the swelling to go down and for my face to kind of settle and look how it still does now.’

On top of this, Meghan had to wear braces for six months after the procedure and also take liquid morphine to help with the swelling around her mouth. 

Sharing details of her recovery online, Meghan gushed about custard being her ‘best discovery’ when she was still on her liquid diet. 

She continued: ‘I still probably had pain for over a year later. The liquid diet was difficult, trying to find savoury things as a liquid was difficult.

‘I couldn’t really open my mouth to begin with so most of it had to be through a straw, I couldn’t even get a spoon in my mouth.

Meghan says her son didn’t recognise her after her surgery because she looked so different. Pictured: before and after images Meghan shared on her TikTok 

Scans of Meghan’s jaw show how the procedure effectively straightened her teeth and corrected her overbite

Left: Meghan pictured during her recovery. Right: The mother’s teeth during the period where she had to wear braces

‘I had elastic bands clicked onto the brace after the surgery so that meant I had an elastic band right across the front of my mouth so that made eating difficult.

‘I lost nearly a stone in the first couple of weeks.’

What’s more, Meghan says that the surgery has also how she speaks too. 

The mother added: ‘I used to have a really bad lisp and don’t anymore. 

‘I used to be able to touch my nose with my tongue and I can’t anymore and I can’t whistle.’

Following her dramatic transformation, Meghan says customers she knew at her salon also mistook her for a ‘new girl’.

Describing how it has affected her day-to-day life, the mother explained: ‘It’s still strange now when I look back at photos of what I looked like before, I feel disconnected to that person.

‘Also when I look at photos now, I don’t completely feel like it’s me, it’s a bit in limbo.

‘I’m definitely glad I’ve had it done though. I’d say I’m more confident now and definitely less self-conscious.’

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