Does Jaw Wiring For Weight Loss Work?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in jaw wiring. I had a back injury about five years ago and then my weight was 130 lbs. Now it is 210 lbs. If I could get down  about 30 to 40 lbs I think I could exercise and really make it work. Does this sound realistic?

A: The eternal question about weight loss is whether any method that provides an immediate and short term effect will provide a sustained weight loss change. The most effective long-term methods of weight loss are significant lifestyle changes in diet and exercise. But that issue aside it is well known that wiring one’s jaws together (e.g., orthognathic surgery) will cause weight loss by the limitations of what one can take in orally. (lack of solid food)

It is important to remember that while jaw wiring can certainly initiate weight loss while they are in place when they come off the onus will then be on the patient. But if you are confident that somewhere between a 20 to 30 lb weight loss over a several month period will help, there is no medical contraindication to doing so. The only question is how long to leave the jaw wiring in place which is usually between 6 to 8 weeks.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana