In some instances, over the counter pain medication can be enough to help ease pain. Pain usually peaks about 4 to 6 hours after anesthesia wears off, so you may want to consider taking some medication before it does, which can help combat pain that might be severe. Avoid taking aspirin, however, as it can contribute to bleeding. If your pain cannot be managed by OTC medication, a prescription pain medication can be taken instead, as directed by your surgeon.
It is recommended that you limit your activity during the first few days following your procedure, especially during the first 24 hours. Bending, lifting heavy objects, elevating your heart rate, or anything else strenuous can not only increase your chances of bleeding and swelling, it can also worsen pain. Instead, rest while you're healing, keeping your head elevated above your heart. As you begin to heal, slowly integrate light activity back into your routine and adjust as necessary for pain levels.
Avoid eating anything hard, crunchy or chewy during your healing process, as these can irritate surgical sites. Stay away from foods that are extremely hot as well. Instead, opt for soft, nutritious foods. You may even want to consider a liquid diet for the first few days, eventually graduating to soft foods as you are able. And don't skip meals. Getting proper nutrition will help speed up your recovery time.
Oral HygieneKeeping your teeth clean is still just as important. Use a children's toothbrush, so you won't need to open your mouth quite as wide. And make sure that you use an antibacterial mouthwash to help fight off remaining bacteria, which aids in the prevention of infection.
Pain is to be expected following TMJ surgery, but it doesn't have to be unbearable. However, if you experience pain that cannot be controlled even by prescription medications, contact our office right away.