A stressed-out sandwich shop owner who ground her teeth so badly she could no longer open her mouth is smiling again – after having her jaw replaced with TITANIUM.
Toni Lovell-Clarke, 50, lost both her two businesses after the recession hit – causing her to grind her teeth in her sleep.
At first the grinding was only occasional, but soon the condition worsened and Toni developed muscle dystonia – leaving her jaw permanently jammed shut.
Toni was left unable to eat, drink or even talk for months and needed to be given fluids through a tube.
But thanks to a rare surgery Toni, from Nottingham, had a titanium plates inserted into her jaw.
Toni had her jaw replaced with a £16,000 titanium model, in an operation so rare it is only performed around 75 times a year.
But despite a successful fitting Toni’s drama was not over yet, as the dystonia in her muscles dislocated the new jaw.
She was forced to feed herself through a straw for four weeks after surgeons took the decision to wire her new mouth shut until the contractions stopped.
Now relieved Toni says expert surgeon Andrew Sidebottom has turned her life around, allowing her to enjoy food and drink again and talk to her friends and family.
Mr Sidebottom, who has been a consultant at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre maxillofacial department for 12 years, took 3D scans of Toni’s jaw and skull and sent them to a company in a America.
There they were able to design a tailor-made new jaw for Toni made out of titanium and high-molecular polyethylene.
Mr Sidebottom said it cost £8,000 to replace each side of the jaw, and that Toni’s chin was healthy enough it didn’t need any further support.
The grandmother-of-five said: “It was awful.
“I couldn’t eat or even talk properly – it was without doubt one of the worst things I have ever experienced, but I’m telling my story because was show my gratitude to Andrew.
“Andrew has turned my life around, I owe him a great deal and the work he does isn’t known about – he deserves a bit of credit.”
Mr Sidebottom said: “The only way to stop this from happening was by wiring her jaw shut for a long enough amount of time the muscles would heal.”