Jaw Surgery: Recovery Steps, Do’s And Don’ts | Health On Planet

Jaw surgery is a complex process. Still, there are the least chances for complications to arise during the surgery.

At the same time, if proper care isn’t taken during its recovery period, then it can lead to a painful recovery. Sometimes, it may prove fatal for your other body parts too.

The article is a complete recovery guide to jaw surgery. Let’s dive right in covering a few basic (and must know) things about jaw surgery.

With that being said, let’s dive into the article.

What is jaw surgery?

Jaw surgery is a surgery used to correct your jaw structure as well as face conditions related to some disease (like sleep apnea, disorders caused by TMJ structure, or malocclusion).

Why Jaw Surgery?

There are numerous reasons why a person wants to have Jaw Surgery for himself. 

Some reasons relate to improving the way they look (in-plane text improving facial appearance) while others relate to correcting birth defects. 

Let’s look at some common reasons why people go for jaw surgery (as per mayo clinic).

  • Difficulty in chewing and biting.
  • Problems related to speech and even swallowing.
  • Difficulty closing lips comfortably.
  • Correct issues like double chins, asymmetry (imbalance) in the face.
  • Relieving from conditions of sleep apnea.

Recovery After Jaw Surgery

The above information is sufficient if you had not known what is jaw surgery and why it is done. 

Now it’s the time for the recovery part, for which you are engaged with this article till now. 

Few questions that we thought to cover in this section include: What steps should you follow for having a pleasant jaw surgery recovery? What are some dos and don’ts you must keep in mind during the recovery period? And some more aspects leading to a boost in your recovery.

Let’s dive into steps you must follow during the recovery period.

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1. Having a Warm Or Cold Compress

This is probably the best thing one can do to minimize the pain and swelling as a result of jaw surgery.  

For cold compress use an ice pack over the painful area to soothe the pain. You may also go for a cold compress if you feel a remarkable swelling after the jaw surgery.

Warm compress using heat pads also does a wonderful job of relaxing your jaw muscles. This in turn helps you to open your mouth wider than normal. 

Thus, a warm and cold compress can be an effective recovery step after jaw surgery.

2. Diets To Take During Jaw Surgery Recovery

A liquid diet is the one that is mostly preferred during the first few weeks after any dental or jaw surgery. Though during the 4-6 weeks you may turn to a soft food diet.

Though most of the time your surgeon already includes this in your postoperative instructions. 

Still, this step has supreme importance during the recovery period. Let’s have a look at some of the liquid diets you may consider having during your recovery period.

Diet List During Jaw Surgery Recovery

In the article alcohol after tooth extraction, you already got to know a few liquid diet ideas.

But here’s a more versatile list to help you go with your mouth’s taste without any compromise.

Liquid Diets (1-3 weeks)Soft Food (4-6 weeks)
1. Tomato Soup1. Scrambled Eggs
2. Milk Drinks2.   Fresh Smoothies
3.   Porridge3. Mashed Potatoes
4.   Smoothies4. Oatmeal
5. Cold Tea5.   Canned Broths
6.   Lukewarm pureed soups6. Custard
7. Milkshakes/Strawberry Drink7.   Noodles/Pasta
8. Applesauce8.  Yogurt
9.  Soups/smoothies9. Porridge
Diets To Adhere During Recovery Period

3. Take Time Off Work

Taking plenty of rest is the key to faster recovery after any jaw or dental surgery. 

Ensure to take time off from your job or business for around 1-3 weeks (still, one month is the best rule of thumb if you can manage).

Complete recovery from jaw surgery requires around 4-6 weeks. 

Once the recovery is complete you may get a call from your orthodontist for further proceedings (like aligning your teeth to the best position if needed). This alignment is usually done with the help of braces.

The bottom line! Take a rest off your work whether you are a job person or a student. 

4. Cut Down On Strenuous Activities

Activities that require a lot of energy, strength, and effort should be cut off during the jaw surgery recovery period.

These activities may include having a workout at the gym, lifting heavy bags or any kind of weight, jogging, tennis and any other kind of outdoor sports. 

It’s important to cut off from these activities because they not only delay healing but oftentimes complicate the recovery process.

So endnote! Refrain from activities that require much force and energy to carry out and might hit your jaws.

5. Oral Hygiene During Recovery

Maintaining clean oral hygiene after jaw surgery plays a supreme role in faster recovery.

So, ensure to keep your mouth clean. 

Rinsing your mouth with lukewarm water and a bit of salt solution can also help with it. Just rinse your mouth at least 4 times a day during initial recovery days. 

Brushing your teeth lightly after every meal could also be a great practice for clean oral hygiene.

6. Strictly Avoid Tobacco

You must ban tobacco and tobacco-containing things (like cigarettes) during the recovery period. 

Because when you smoke tobacco, it decreases the efficiency of your lungs, making it harder to breathe. 

You may get to think that this is a general case. But no, during jaw surgery it gets more serious because it may stimulate proliferation.

Smoking tobacco also gives rise to delayed healing as it has a prolonged effect on reparative tissues (responsible for healing).

Tobacco also causes your blood vessels to shrink leading to a lesser supply of nutrients to the healing site.

So the concluding note is, do not smoke or take tobacco in any form during the recovery period.

The above-given steps were more than enough to enjoy a smooth recovery period after having jaw surgery.

Now, let’s have an eye over some do’s and don’t which must be followed during this crucial period. 

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Do’s After Jaw Surgery

  • Keep a pillow under your head before going to sleep. It helps to provide you with a comfortable position by propping up your head.
  • Apply ice over the area you feel swelling for 10-15 minutes.
  • Follow every post-operative instruction provided by your surgeon.
  • Use gauze pads in order to stop any bleeding from the site of surgery.
  • Start taking your medicines prescribed by your doctor immediately after the surgery.
  • If the numbness persists even after 6 hours of surgery visit your nearby dental clinic for help.
  • Go on complete bed rest for about 24 hours.

Don’ts After Jaw Surgery

  • Do not involve in high-intensity exercises requiring much of your body effort.
  • Avoid any sucking action like drinking with a straw, as this may induce bleeding at the surgery site.
  • Do not ignore any post-op pain concern, contact your surgeon for help.
  • Don’t let your hand go at the surgery site oftenly, simply do not touch it.
  • Do not jump over hot drinks or foods before your numbness ends up.
  • While rinsing your mouth with saltwater do not spit out forcefully, as it may dislodge the clot formed after surgery.

Jaw Surgery Before And After

You can expect realistic results from Jaw Surgery. It may take several days to appreciate the final outcome. 

But as soon as your recovery period gets over you will feel a difference. Here’s an illustrative version of the results you may expect before and after the jaw surgery.

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Bottom Line

That’s all you need to know once you have your jaw surgery and want to enjoy a smooth recovery. 

The above-mentioned steps are more than enough to give you a trouble-free recovery time. Just you need to adhere to it. 

And, once again I would like to remind you to not ignore post-op care tips from your doctor. Try sticking to it as much as possible. Hope you have a good time.

Now, I would love to listen to you. Which suggestion did you like the most? Which drink you would love to consume during your recovery from jaw surgery? 

About the Author

Purushottam is the founder and content writer at Health On Planet, a place where regular health enthusiasts visit to get honest reviews about the supplement. He has been reviewing popular dietary supplements with his years of expertise in the wellness industry. You can always trust his expertise on supplements to help you make informed choices.

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3 years ago

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