Post-Dental Implant Instructions: Jaw Stiffness and Soreness
Jaw stiffness and soreness are common after oral surgery and may result in limited mouth opening (trismus). This is a result of the surgery involving the jaw muscles, such as dental implants, at or near the surgical site. This condition may last for a few days to a week.
Treating Jaw Stiffness
On rare occasions, jaw stiffness may take longer to resolve. Ice packs provided by the office can be used as heat packs by heating them in hot water. Be careful that the packs do not get hot enough to burn the skin. The packs can be used with the compression dressing for 20 minutes on and then 20 minutes off as much as possible. Patients may also use a hot water bottle or heating pad covered by a thin towel if the packs are not available.
Advil, Motrin or Ibuprofen can also help to improve swelling and jaw stiffness. Patients should perform exercises to gently stretch their mouth open to get it moving again. It can be tempting just to not open it wide at all, but that can lead to permanent limitation of opening (“chronic trismus”). Physical therapy may occasionally be necessary to improve jaw mobility.
For questions or assistance, please call our Encino office: Encino Oral Surgery Office Phone Number 818-990-5500.
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