Jaw surgery is a serious medical procedure. It’s not the same as wisdom tooth removal. You will need to take one to three weeks off from work in order to let your body rest and heal, especially if you have double jaw surgery and your mouth is wired shut.
It’s important to closely adhere to your oral surgeon’s guidelines in order for the healing process to be effective and for you to achieve the desired results. The following six tips can help you prepare as your procedure draws closer.
Use Nasal Sprays
During the first few days after jaw surgery, you will probably feel congested and your nose may bleed due to the intrusion in the nasal cavity. It’s helpful to use nasal sprays to clean out your nostrils, as sneezing and blowing your nose may be too painful and could disturb the surgical work.
Stock Up on Vitamin Shakes
After jaw surgery, you will at first be restricted to a clear liquid diet, then you’ll move on to a full liquid diet before you’re able to begin chewing soft foods again.
During the initial few weeks of recovery, you need proper nutrition to facilitate healing. Get a supply of vitamin-enriched shakes, such as Ensure. These can help relieve hunger and stimulate your digestive system as well.
You also can make fruit smoothies from fresh or frozen fruit and juice, but since you’ll be weak from surgery, having bottled shakes on hand will be helpful.
Use Towels for Drooling
It is not unusual to drool excessively after this procedure. Keep a towel on hand to wipe your mouth and chin, and to wipe up any spills from drinking.
Don’t Participate in Strenuous Activities
Even if you’re starting to feel better, don’t overdo it when it comes to activity. The first week after jaw surgery you can do basic housework, but you should not exercise. You can take short walks, but do not overestimate your ability.
By week three or four, light exercise is allowed, but do not participate in contact sports until your oral surgeon clears you for them specifically.
Keep Your Head Elevated
The swelling will be intense for the first week. Besides using ice packs for the first 72 hours, you also can try to sleep in a recliner, or propped up by pillows. Keeping your head elevated can help the swelling go down faster.
Rinse Your Mouth Regularly
Even on a liquid diet, it’s vital to keep your mouth as clean as possible. If you don’t already have one, consider investing in a water pick system. Make sure the device is set to the lowest level before you use.
You also can also use a soft-bristled, child-sized toothbrush to clean your teeth, taking care not to touch the incision site. Keeping your mouth clean will limit the risk of bacterial infection.
At Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, undergoing jaw surgery is not a fearful prospect — you will know you are in caring, experienced hands. Contact the office today to set up a consultation and see how jaw surgery could change your life for the better.