After TMJ Arthroscopy


Most TMJ patients undergoing Arthroscopy procedures by our surgeons are surprised at the lack of significant discomfort following surgery. Adult patients with moderate pain may take 600-800mg of liquid ibuprofen every three to four hours. Most patients are comfortable with this regimen. Please contact our office for instructions or if you have any questions prior to taking any medications.

For severe pain, take the medication prescribed as directed. The prescribed pain medicine will make you sleepy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, or at any time you feel the level of pain is not managed with the above medications you should call the office. Narcotic pain medications may cause constipation please alert your doctor if your are faced with this minor problem.

Do not wait for severe pain to take medication. As soon as you feel any beginning of discomfort start with the above regimen. Severe breakthrough pain is very difficult to overcome.


The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling in front of the ear and sides of the face is very common. This is the bodys normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling will not become apparent until 1-2 days following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Baggies filled with ice, or ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be left on continuously while you are awake. After 48 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery. Thirty-six hours following surgery, the application of gentle moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the swelling and stiffness. Sleep with your head elevated on two pillows for the first week.

Wound Care

There will be two small stab like incisions with one to two sutures each. Once the head wrap has been removed on the second post operative day, clean the incision with 50% peroxide and water mixture and apply Neosporin ointment. The sutures will be removed one week after surgery.


Your surgeon will give you personal instructions regarding the use of Thera-bite device or other techniques. It is imperative that you initiate the mouth opening exercises following your procedure as soon as possible.


Drink plenty of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the days following your procedure. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable. It may only be comfortable to eat soft or pureed food for few days following surgery however, push yourself to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

Give us a call with any questions or concerns.

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of San Buenaventura Phone Number 805-648-5121 Email Us