Abstract Speech characteristics of 20 patients who underwent orthognathic surgery for correction of various skeletal defects were studied before surgical treatment and at periodic intervals postoperatively. Patients completed questionnaires that focused on their perceptions of appearance and oral function after orthognathic surgery. Approximately 60% of the patients demonstrated preoperative articulation errors. These were classified as mild because they did not interfere with the ability to be understood. Periodic testing indicated positive changes in articulation for a majority of those who had exhibited preoperative errors. None of the subjects experienced postoperative deterioration in their articulation. The subjects' perceptions of their individual operations were positive on all variables assessed.