August 20, 2021
7 Tips for a Smooth Jaw Surgery Recovery
Did you know that around 22% of individuals in India, China, the U.S., the U.K., and several countries in Europe and Africa have an overbite? This means that there are 22% of individuals worldwide who require jaw surgery!
Are you among those looking to get jaw surgery? Perhaps you already got one and are currently recovering? This article is exactly what you need.
So, here are 7 tips to remember to help hasten your recovery:
1. Take It Easy and Rest
After your jaw surgery, it’s best to avoid doing strenuous activities. Instead, spend the day resting in your home.
This is important as your jawbones are simply wired together and haven’t recovered yet. Driving, bending, or lifting may dislodge the blood clots causing bleeding.
Thus we recommend that you gradually progress the intensity of your movement. As much as possible, limit how you talk, eat and drink for the first day after your oral surgery. Instead of eating 3 times a day, break down your mealtime into 6, making sure to eat small portions each time.
It’s also best that you avoid spitting to ensure that you don’t disturb your surgical wound. Remember that healing takes place 8 to 12 weeks after surgery. Until then, you’d want to protect your surgical area.
2. Watch What You Eat
Naturally, you need to limit your food choices as you’re trying to minimize jaw movement. For the first 10 days after surgery, your diet should be in the form of liquid.
If you insist on eating fruits such as apples and mangoes, blend them for easy consumption. We also recommend taking food supplements to help increase your calorie intake.
From day 11 to day 21, you can start eating soft foods that require minimal chewing. This can be eggs, mashed potatoes, small pieces of sandwiches, and soft pasta. While you can start chewing during this period, it’s still best to be cautious as you’re only starting to recover.
You can increase your jaw movement by eating soft meats like soft chicken, fish dishes, and ham 3 weeks after the surgery. During this stage, you’ll find that your jaw easily gets tired from chewing.
This will last for 2 to 3 months until your jaw muscles become accustomed to the new position of your jaw. As such, keep the portions small to avoid putting too much pressure on your healing bone.
3. Choose What You Drink After Jaw Surgery
Following the jaw surgery, you’ll feel numbness somewhere on your lips, along with facial soreness and swelling. These will make drinking a difficult task, but no matter, you should make sure that you drink 2 to 3 liters of fluids every day.
Fruit juices such as apple juice and milk are also ideal. However, you should avoid drinking through a straw. The force from suction can disturb your wound and cause bleeding.
Instead of straws, use a syringe with a rubber extender. You should also avoid drinking coffee and soda in the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery. Furthermore, refrain from drinking alcohol to hasten your recovery.
4. Cold and Hot Compress
It’s normal for your face to swell and have bruises after jaw surgery. An effective way to ease swelling is to apply ice on your jaw for 30 minutes. Let it rest for 15 minutes before reapplying cold compress.
Continue doing this for the first 24 to 48 hours. However, if you notice pus or start having a fever, your wound may have an infection. In this case, don’t hesitate to call your jaw surgeon.
After a week, ice will no longer be effective. Thus, apply warm heat over the surgical area instead to reduce swelling.
5. Elevate Your Head
Another method that you can try to reduce facial swelling is to keep your head above your heart. This will help increase and promote proper blood flow, reducing facial swelling.
As such, while recovering from jaw surgery, avoid lying flat. During the daytime, sit or recline to help maintain proper blood flow. At nighttime, use 2 or 3 pillows to keep your head elevated.
6. Gradual Jaw Exercises
For the first 10 days after jaw surgery, we don’t recommend any specific jaw exercises as your wound is still sore. The slight movement from chewing your food is enough jaw exercise in this period.
10 days after surgery, start attempting to open and close your jaw as often as you can. Move your jaws forward and backward and side to side to help increase your jaw movement. At this point, you should be able to put one finger in between your teeth.
If you feel uncomfortable, apply moist heat on the side of your face during these exercises to help ease muscle strain. In the fourth week, you can use your finger to put pressure between the front teeth. Gently stretch your muscle jaws to help increase jaw opening.
7. Maintain Oral Hygiene
Even after jaw surgery, you must maintain your oral hygiene. This will help ensure that your surgical wound is clean and free of infection. Such allows it to heal faster.
For the first week after surgery, stay cautious when brushing your teeth. Make sure that you use soft-bristled brushes and the bristles stay on the teeth and braces. Avoid using a Waterpik during this time, as this can result in more bleeding.
It’s common for the first 1 to 2 weeks to get some bleeding when you clean your teeth. However, it should only last for a few minutes after you have finished your oral hygiene routine. Should the bleeding continue for a long period, contact your oral surgeon immediately.
Korb and Taylor at Your Service
Postoperative care for jaw surgery requires extra attention for a quick recovery. Aside from being careful with your diet, you should also maintain your oral hygiene and keep your head above your heart. Make sure to apply the tips mentioned above after your jaw surgery to help with your recovery.
Are you ready to experience excellent customer service from skilled professionals? From jaw surgery, implants, teeth removal, and more, we have your back! Contact us today and let us help you with your oral needs.