Beautician bullied for her underbite smiles after docs break her jaws in life-changing op – The Sun

A BEAUTICIAN who was bullied for her underbite is smiling for the first time after life-changing surgery.

Mia Duckworth, 21, underwent a gruelling four-hour operation in which her top and bottom jaws were both broken, realigned and secured in place with screws.

The makeup artist, from Darwen, Lancashire, spent years trying to hide her face, refusing to smile for any photos and always wearing her hair down to cover her face.

Her bottom jaw sat so far forward, her upper and lower teeth never met, making it difficult for her to eat and leaving her in daily agony as her jaw would click and pop out of place.

As well as the physical turmoil, Mia also suffered years of ridicule from school bullies, who nicknamed her "chinny" and regularly left her in tears with their cruel taunts.

Her jaw and the years of bullying shattered Mia's confidence and every time she looked at her face in the mirror she felt like an "alien" and "ugly".

But almost a decade in braces to straighten her teeth and ensure she'd finished growing before her jaw could be realigned, Mia underwent surgery at Royal Blackburn Hospital on May 23.

Surgeons broke Mia's top and bottom jawbones before removing the excess bone and then fixing her jaw in a new, straightened position with screws.

She said: "The surgery has changed my life in more ways that you can imagine.

"Before I hardly wore my hair completely off my face but now I wear it in a really tight bun and I feel so exposed but I’m so confident now in my new face that I love it.

"I smile so much in photos now. Before my surgery I hadn’t smiled in a photo for about five years.

"My underbite affected me a lot mentally. I felt ugly and horrible. Comparing myself to my friends it was like I was an alien.

"I hated what looked back in the mirror at me, I felt so ugly. I never liked having my photo taken by other people as they always made my jaw look horrible.

Comparing myself to my friends it was like I was an alien. I hated what looked back in the mirror at me, I felt so ugly

"I was bullied at school. I often got called 'chinny' because of the way my jaw was and got mocked for it.

"The bullies used to copy my jaw position and say it was like I was gurning. I used to go home and cry because of the things I got called.

"Even as an adult, I often got stared at by people in restaurants and people would snigger at me.

"Sometimes I would catch people talking about me and it made me feel so upset.

What is an underbite?

An underbite is a term for a dental condition characterized by lower teeth that extend outward farther than the upper front teeth.

This condition is also called a Class III malocclusion or prognathism.

It creates a bulldog-like appearance in the mouth and face.

Some cases of underbite can be severe, causing the lower teeth to extend far forward.

Other cases are milder and nearly unnoticeable.

An underbite is more than just a cosmetic issue.

While some people may learn to live with mild cases, severe cases may cause oral health problems, such as:

  • Difficulty biting and chewing food
  • Challenges with speaking
  • Mouth and face pain due to misalignment of the jaw

Some childhood habits may increase risk for developing an underbite or other dental misalignment. Contributing factors to an underbite include:

  • Thumb sucking
  • Pushing on teeth with the tongue
  • Pacifier use in children above age three
  • Long-term feeding from a bottle beyond infant years

Source: Healthline

"But the first time I looked in the mirror after all the swelling from my surgery had gone down, I felt happy. I finally felt pretty.

"It was like I finally looked how I was supposed to look all along.

"People have said it makes me look younger. I feel like a new woman, and like I can conquer anything.

"I feel unbelievable. I have retainers I use at night to keep my teeth the way the are but my teeth and jaw look amazing – and I can finally smile."

The surgery hasn't just changed Mia's life by boosting her self-confidence but also completely relieved the regular jaw pain and headaches she would suffer due to her underbite.

And one of the first things Mia did once she was able to eat solid food after her surgery was bite into an apple as she hadn't been able to do this for years before the op.

Mia said: "My underbite was rather large. I could fit my tongue through the gap between my lower teeth and upper teeth.

"It meant I struggled to eat certain foods such as apples because of my jaw position.

"And I was always conscious of the way I was eating in front of other people and tended to cover my mouth a lot when I ate.

"My jaw also used to click and pop out of place a lot and it often gave me headaches. I regularly had to take paracetamol and other pain relief tablets.

"The surgery has helped me massively with day-to-day life.

"When I could finally eat solids properly the first thing I wanted to try was biting into an apple for the first time in years.

"I had to teach myself how to eat again as my teeth were in a different position which was strange.

My jaw also used to click and pop out of place a lot and it often gave me headaches

"Eating things that I’d normally eat didn’t feel the same but I soon got used to it.

"My lips are still quite numb from the surgery but that’s normal and they're gradually going back to normal.

"Due to having lower and upper jaw surgery, my nose moved as well so now my nose looks different than it did before."

While the operation has had a huge positive impact on Mia's life, it hasn't all been plain-sailing.

For two hours straight after waking up from surgery, Mia was throwing up blood and would spend the next three weeks in extreme pain and incredibly swollen.

The agony and swelling meant Mia was unable to eat properly for weeks and she even suffered bouts of depression where she would sob for hours on end.

However a month into her recovery, Mia finally started to feel like herself again and was now able to look in the mirror and enjoy what she saw thanks to her new jaw.

Despite sleepless nights and weeks on one liquid meal a day, Mia feels the surgery was completely worth it as it's allowed her to start 'living her life to the fullest'.

Now the makeup artist wants to share her stunning transformation to inspire others suffering with an extreme underbite or overbite to take the plunge and get surgery.

Mia said: "My surgeon warned me that I would get depression during my recovery period, having regular lows and high moments, which was very accurate.

"I’d have days where I would cry for hours and say I couldn’t do it anymore. I didn’t eat properly for weeks, having one liquid meal a day as I couldn’t enjoy the food.

"My mum blended up meals for me but it just wasn’t the same and my boyfriend brought home McDonald’s sometimes and I just cried my eyes out as I wanted to eat it so bad but couldn’t.

"That was the hardest part, not being able to eat, I was so weak and lost a bit of weight.

"I didn’t sleep properly for weeks, and my mouth was so swollen and it felt like it had its own heartbeat it was throbbing so much during the night.

"The swelling lasted for around three weeks. It was horrible seeing my face so swollen. I looked like a different person. I couldn’t wait to put some makeup on and look more like myself.

"I spent three weeks upset and crying about not being able to eat, being so down and low but I’d do it all over again.

"I would 100% recommend the surgery to people thinking about having it. It changes your life.

"It's three weeks of your life in pain and sore to be able to live the rest of it to the fullest and feel amazing.

"The weeks of recovery felt like a lifetime but now I can look back on it and it appreciate everything my surgeon did for me. It's the best thing I’ve ever done and I’m so glad I did it.

"Be prepared for a few sleepless nights, highs and lows but surround yourself with the right people to help you along the way and you’ll smash it.

"Once the first few weeks are over it’s only uphill from there."

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