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Many people have taken drastic methods in order to lose weight. By wiring your jaw closed, you are invariably forcing yourself to adhere to a liquid diet, which ultimately will allow you to lose weight 1. Jaw wiring is a simple dental procedure and if you are morbidly obese, your doctor may recommend it as an alternative to gastric bypass or lap band surgery.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Jaw wiring is performed by an oral surgeon or orthodontist. It is noninvasive and no anesthesia is needed, since the jaw and teeth remain in a fixed position via bonding. Brackets are bonded to the upper and lower teeth and a thin wire is used to connect the brackets in order to keep the jaw in position. The brackets and wire are arranged in order to keep your lower jaw semi-closed and in a resting position, which allows for moderate movement allowing you to speak clearly, yet preventing you from chewing solid food.
Wiring the jaw for the treatment of obesity was popular in the 1970s and ‘80s, and now seems to have been replaced as a popular weight loss method by gastric bypass and lap band surgery 1. However, jaw wiring is still an effective approach to weight reduction 1. The goal of jaw wiring is to inhibit the intake of solid foods, dramatically decreasing the amount of calories you will consume. By wiring the jaw, you are unable to chew and essentially getting all of your nutrients from a liquid diet.
According to Ted Rothstein, DDS, PhD, jaw wiring is a safe and relatively simple approach to weight loss 12. Dr. Rothstein states that the health dangers associated with gastric bypass are not present with jaw wiring since it is a non-surgical procedure. To achieve the maximum weight loss benefits from jaw wiring, Dr. Rothstein recommends you limit the amount of high caloric beverages such as milk shakes and sports drinks 1.
According to a study done in the British Medical Journal, jaw wiring is an effective treatment for weight loss since it restricts the intake of food 13. However, once the wires are removed, weight is typically regained. In order to maintain weight loss, it is recommended that you determine the causes of why you overeat. After the wires are removed and you begin to eat solid food again, you need to adhere to proper diet and nutrition in order to keep the weight off.
Check with your doctor prior to having your jaw wired to see if you are a suitable candidate for this method of weight loss 1. You should not have this procedure done if you have preexisting health conditions that include: a history of jaw disorders; a history of bulimia or anorexia; health issues that might be affected by a prolonged liquid diet.