15 Jan How long until you can chew after jaw surgery?
Jaw surgery can involve complex procedures that require a fair amount of time in healing. While the results of such surgery is worthwhile to correct defects in the jaw, it’s important for patients to know what to expect from the procedure and subsequent recovery.
Your oral surgeon will work closely with you so that you can be prepared to care for yourself after the surgery, including preparing appropriate foods for yourself. Following this guidance will be instrumental to your uneventful recovery.
Jaw Surgery Procedures
The category of jaw surgery encompasses a variety of specific procedures that are used to correct various defects in the jaw. This type of surgery may just target the upper or the lower jaw, or both jaws may be involved in order to correct a malocclusion or other issue.
Jaw surgery usually results in a more functional and aesthetically pleasing jaw, so these procedures have value in a variety of scenarios. The recovery timeline after jaw surgery will depend on the complexity of the specific procedure performed in your case.
Eating After Jaw Surgery: What to Expect
When it comes to chewing food again after jaw surgery, you should follow the instructions provided by your oral surgeon. All patients are unique and there may be special considerations in your case, but dietary recommendations often look like this:
- Stage 1 – Liquid diet, typically recommended for the first several days or couple of weeks after surgery. This will include items such as broths, smoothies or things that can be prepared in a blender.
- Stage 2 – Soft foods that require minimal chewing, for several more weeks. Keep in mind that you will gain some chewing function during this time and can progress from things like mashed potatoes and scrambled eggs to hamburger patties in the later phase of this stage.
- Stage 3 – Full diet (although chewing certain items, such as raw fruits and veggies, may continue to be difficult and should be avoided for a longer period of time).
Your oral surgeon will give you more specific guidance as to when you can move from one diet phase to the next.
Remember that post-operative complications could derail this schedule, so take care to do everything possible to prevent such issues. We strongly encourage you to closely follow our post-operative home care instructions.
If you have any questions about any aspect of your recovery after jaw surgery, including any dietary restrictions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Central Oklahoma Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates. We are here for you at any time.