Regardless of the type of jaw surgery you will be undertaking, it can be a challenging time and an undertaking that may cause you some anxiety. Here are some tips on how to recover from jaw surgery fast, including how to easily navigate the post-surgery period.
Maintain adequate food and fluid intake
1. Drink (rather than chew) your meals
Jaw surgery is a significant dental procedure, and one of the challenges faced by those who have undergone it is how to consume food. Generally, you should still be able to enjoy meals, just in a different way than you are used to.
For a speedy recovery, be aware of the amount you digest. This includes making your meals drinkable and liquified, so you don’t need to over-use your jaw, which can cause unnecessary pain and discomfort.
2. Maintain regular intake of fluids
Forgetting to consume regular fluid intake in the early postoperative period can lead to dehydration is important to avoid during the early recovery from jaw surgery.
Numbness around the face, mouth and throat through the early recovery period can contribute to difficulties in maintaining oral intake of fluids. For the first two weeks of your recovery, small rubber bands will typically hold your teeth together to stabilize and assist with your recovery.
After this stage of your recovery is complete, your oral surgeon will replace these bands with larger rubber bands allowing you to consume soft foods for the rest of your recovery. Your surgeon may keep the smaller bands on for longer if they think your jaw needs more time to recover. By drinking liquified meals, you can give yourself a higher chance of speeding up your recovery.
Eat easy-to-chew foods
Once you have the smaller rubber bands replaced by larger ones, your surgeon may recommend that you now try to eat softer foods rather than liquified ones. Try to eat healthy foods that are easy to consume, which will assist with this stage of your recovery.
Foods can include soft chicken, yoghurt and many others, but consult your surgeon in terms of what they would recommend. Regardless, try to take care when eating. Take your time and slowly introduce more solid foods into your diet, which will help your jaw become stronger.
Keep pain under control
Ultimately, your pain will be managed by your Specialist Surgeon with prescribed or over-the-counter medication. They will give recommendations immediately after surgery, including applying ice packs, as this will help reduce swelling. They will typically advise you to apply these for three to four days after surgery.
Take care of your lips
One of the side effects of the recovery process after having jaw surgery is that your lips will be increasingly chapped. The continuous application of lip balm can ensure your lips remain moist. Ensuring you drink enough water to keep hydrated will not only reduce the amount of lip irritation but also assist with recovery.
Jaw surgery recovery tips
Every patient’s jaw and surgery are different, but ultimately your body needs time to heal. Typically after this type of surgery, you should allow up to six weeks of recovery before returning to work. Your surgeon will recommend a time frame that suits your individual circumstances. Upon their advice, and when you are comfortable, you can start to introduce normal daily activities back into your life again, which will assist with your strength and mobility.
Surgery can be physically and mentally challenging, and self-care is a great way of easing back into your regular routine. This can include lots of rest, doing some gentle exercise or taking your favourite furry friend for a walk. Taking it slowly and following your medical team’s advice is the best way to move forward and allow you to be back to your fabulous self in no time!