Post-Op TMJ Instructions

  • Use an ice pack for the surgical site for 24 hours. Then switch to heat.
  • Drink lots of liquids frequently throughout the day. You may have very soft foods such as mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, pancakes, oatmeal, etc. as tolerated.
  • Alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, should not be taken for 12 hours following a general anesthetic or following the use of pain medications that produce drowsiness.
  • No driving or operating any machinery for 12 hours after general anesthesia.
  • Pain is to be expected and may be severe for the first couple of days. One must:
    • Take prescribed medication as directed. Try to take with food.
    • Allow 45 minutes for the medicine to work. Therefore, take the medication before the pain becomes too severe.
    • You may use Tylenol for minor discomfort. If you choose Tylenol, you should not also use your prescription pain medication.
    • You may use Ibuprofen up to 800mg every 8 hours.
  • DO NOT force your mouth wide open. The doctor will give you a series of exercises to do when it’s time to start stretching the muscles. It is normal to not be able to open the mouth widely.
  • You may shower and/or wash your hair, but first cover the joint area with Bacitracin ointment.
  • Your teeth might not fit together. This will improve in a couple of weeks.

If any unusual symptoms occur or if you have any questions concerning your progress, do not hesitate to call the office during business hours (Monday through Friday 8am – 5pm) as we will have access to your records at that time. If an emergency arises we may be reached 24 hours a day by calling (South Portland Office Phone Number 207-772-4063).