7 Jaw Surgery Recovery Tips

Are you booked in for jaw surgery soon?

If that’s the case, you might feel a bit anxious. After all, any surgery is daunting.

However, jaw surgery will affect your ability to eat solid foods and speak properly for a few weeks, making it even more anxiety-inducing for some.

Preparing for recovery post-surgery is the best way to soothe your nerves and speed up your recovery.

So, here are seven tips to help you heal quicker and get back to your normal life in no time. 

1. Ask Questions Before the Operation

If you have a million questions about the recovery process but are holding off until after the operation to ask them, you might want to think twice.

Planning your jaw surgery recovery starts before the operation. Remember, after the surgery, you won’t be able to speak properly, and it’ll be more difficult to ask questions then.

Plus, communicating with your health team prior to your surgery will alleviate any concerns you might have and put your mind at ease. It will also help you prepare for post-op and help you heal faster.

2. Prepare Your Meals Before Surgery

Prepare Your Meals Before Jaw Surgery Recovery

Let’s be honest; you probably won’t feel like browsing recipes and cooking when recovering from your jaw surgery. That’s why preparing your meals in advance can be a great way to get your daily nutrients without having to cook. 

Also, note that you’ll most likely be on a liquid diet for up to four weeks. However, this doesn’t mean you have to stick to water and juices. Purchase a great blender beforehand so that you can indulge in the liquid version of your favourite meal.

And if you’re looking for inspiration, here are some cool post-surgery recipes. 

3. Keep Hydrated

A Woman is Drinking a Smoothie to Keep Hydrated in Her Jaw Surgery Recovery

Your surgeon will provide you with some post-operative instructions. Your recovery plan will most likely include staying well-hydrated. Indeed, hydration is an important part of the healing process.

Not only does it help get rid of the toxins from anaesthesia, but it also helps strengthen your weakened immune system and fight infections.

4. Manage the Swelling

There are a few things you can do to reduce swelling after jaw surgery.

For the first 48 hours, apply ice packs to your jaw 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. You can also use bags of frozen vegetables once at home.

After that, switch to a warm compress.

Also, make sure to sleep on your back and keep your head elevated for the first two weeks after surgery to help manage the swelling.

5. Be Patient and Kind

Imagine trying to understand someone talking with their mouth full. Pretty difficult, right?

Well, that’s pretty much how you’re going to sound to your friends and family. They won’t always understand you in the first couple of weeks which might feel incredibly frustrating.

Not being understood and not being able to eat normally often makes jaw surgery patients irritable.

But as your loved ones ask you to repeat yourself, be patient and kind to them. Remember that they’ll be doing their best to support you in the hospital and at home.

6. Go For Walks

Walking should be on top of your post-recovery to-do list. So, as soon as you feel strong enough, start moving around.

And even though you might not feel like walking after surgery, you should. Not only will it speed up your recovery by getting your blood flowing and decreasing the swelling, but it’ll also help improve your mental health.  

7. Look After Your Lips

One of the annoying and pretty painful side effects of jaw surgery is chapped lips.

So, to avoid your lips cracking and bleeding, make sure to load up on lip balm to keep your lips moist. Apply a thin layer regularly and target the corners of your mouth to prevent painful lip lesions in this sensitive area.  

And as a final tip, keep motivated!

A long and challenging road awaits, but you’ll finally get your confidence back, so keep motivated and use the time to slurp, sleep and repeat ;) And if you need a reminder this is all worth it, and you’ll make it through, you can also invest in surgery recovery tees! They'll lift your spirits post-surgery days and are super comfortable.