After TMJ Surgery


Apply ice to your surgical sites for 48 hours after surgery. Use the ice packs we have provided or bags of frozen peas work well. After 48 hours discontinue ice and start with heat. You can use a heating pad, hot water bottle or uncooked rice placed in a sock and heated in the microwave. Ice and heat should be applied at 20 minute intervals (off/on). Keep your head elevated for at least the first two (2) days. Extra pillows on your bed or a recliner will be the most comfortable.


You should rest for the first 24 to 48 hours. No strenuous activity for the first week.


A soft diet is very important for joint healing. Medication injected during your procedure can temporarily weaken the joint structures. Please stay on a soft diet until instructed differently and DO NOT CHEW GUM.

TMJ Splint

Start wearing your splint as soon as you are able. It is not uncommon for the splint to feel uneven due to some swelling in the joint. If this persists for over a week you will need to have your splint adjusted.


Take as directed. No driving while taking narcotic medications.

In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery or medications, do not take anything by mouth for at least an hour including the prescribed medicine. You should then sip slowly on Coke, tea, or ginger ale over a 15-minute period. When the nausea subsides, eat something 30 minutes before taking your pain medication or antibiotics. Call the office if you have any questions.

Wound Care

Gentle cleaning with warm water and soap is sufficient. It is okay to wash your hair gently.


If you have sutures, they will need to be removed 5 to 7 days after surgery at your post-operative appointment.

Joint Function

Most patients have increased range of motion after a short healing period. It is not uncommon to have increased noise in the joints after surgery; this is due to the dissolutions of scar bands which have formed in the joint and is usually not a problem.