I am 32 years old, but now I look like I am 70 years old after losing my jaw and teeth to an infection that changed my life

A MOTHER who lost her jaw and all her teeth told how she used to wake up every day looking “70 years old”.

Meighan Maselli, 36, says her life was turned upside down after complications from an infected tooth.

Meighan Maselli Before Her Terrible Ordeal

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Meighan Maselli Before Her Terrible Ordealcredit: SWNS
Endless surgeries and infections have left her unrecognizable

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Endless surgeries and infections have left her unrecognizablecredit: SWNS
Doctors had to remove part of his jaw and replace it with a metal rod.

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Doctors had to remove part of his jaw and replace it with a metal rod.credit: SWNS

The mother of two had to have a root canal and two teeth had to be removed after her dentist discovered they were infected during a routine appointment.

But within days she was in agony and was diagnosed with osteomyelitis in her lower jaw – an inflammation caused by an infection elsewhere in the body.

It became so badly infected that doctors had to remove almost the entire lower jaw and replace it with a metal rod.

The April 2017 procedure also meant they had to remove all of their lower and upper teeth to prevent further infection.

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But the worst was yet to come after Meighan was forced to undergo the risky operation twice more due to further complications and infections.

Doctors first tried to reconstruct her mouth using her hip bone, before successfully replacing it with a part of her tibia.

The mother from Saratoga, New York, even had to have part of her neck reconstructed with muscle from her chest after the ordeal that changed her life.

Since the horrific procedure, the American has lost 170 pounds and is now struggling to eat, and she doesn’t even recognize herself.

She said: “The amount of stress on my body, it’s like going to bed at 32 and waking up at 70.

“I hardly leave the house… If I can avoid looking at myself in the mirror, I do.

“I was a pretty girl with a young son at the time and he’s traumatized by it.”

Heartbroken Meighan also revealed that she “lost half of my chest” as part of the surgery and has scars on her hip, leg and face.

Unemployed Meighan is now “stuck at home” and she admits she’s struggling financially, while her daughter works full-time to help pay the bills.

Recalling the horror, Meighan said she came home from root canal surgery but woke up with a massive abscess under her chin.

The lower part of my face is numb, from the middle of my lip to the corner of my mouth and my chin down I have no feeling and this started after that surgery

Meighan Maselli

She was rushed to the emergency room at Albany Memorial Hospital in New York and given antibiotics for two weeks.

She said: “I didn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t do anything. I had green pus running from the back of my mouth, when you pressed my jaw, something green came out the back.

“My jaw, from the back of my mouth to the middle of my chin, where the abscess was, is gone.”

She said that before undergoing emergency surgery, a doctor told her that “her teeth are huddled together” and there was nothing they could do for her.

She was then sent to a specialist who removed half of her lower jaw and replaced it with a metal rod during an operation in January 2018.

But in March 2018, during a checkup, she was told how the nail made the infection worse and she is due to have another eight-hour surgery to rebuild her jaw using hip bone.

She said: “I was so scared when they were talking about taking bones elsewhere in my body – I’ve never been through something like this.

“The lower part of my face is numb from the middle of my lip to the corner of my mouth and down from my chin, I have no feeling and this started after the surgery.”

Your teeth are sitting on porridge

Doctor talking to Meighan

Despite all the procedures, her face was still irritated and she returned to Albany Medical Center in June 2018.

Another CT scan showed that her hip bone had completely died inside her face and was horribly running up her lip.

Surgeons removed it and tried to clean the area, and also removed all of the teeth to prevent further infections from spreading.

She has since had three more surgical procedures to thin out the thick skin on her neck, which was added to her breast to protect her jaw during surgery.

Meighan’s frequent hospitalizations, as well as her disability, have prevented her from working since her original root canal in 2017.

This took a toll on her family, forcing her 19-year-old daughter Deonna to stay home and take care of her mother instead of moving to attend university.

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She lamented: “When I eat, it’s always soft foods, I live on eggs, pasta, chicken and hamburgers.

“I can’t even go out in the winter months unless it’s absolutely necessary, because shivering is the worst. Because he tenses his jaw so much, for me, it’s probably the worst pain of it.”

Meighan says she wakes up in the morning thinking she looks "70"

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Meighan says she wakes up in the morning thinking she looks “70”credit: SWNS
The terrible infection changed Meighan's life

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The terrible infection changed Meighan’s lifecredit: SWNS
Meighan lives on soft foods like eggs, pasta, chicken and hamburgers.

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Meighan lives on soft foods like eggs, pasta, chicken and hamburgers.credit: SWNS

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