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Arthroscopic TMJ

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

Arthroscopic TMJ is a procedure used to remove extra tissue from your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The extra tissue prevents your jaw from working properly.


Call your doctor or surgeon if:

  • You have pain that does not go away even after you take pain medicine.
  • You have trouble moving the muscles in your face.
  • You feel dizzy or have trouble seeing.
  • You have nausea or are vomiting.
  • You have a fever or chills.
  • You have ear pain or trouble hearing.
  • Your incision is swollen, red, or has pus coming from it.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


You may need any of the following:

  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Antibiotics may be given to help prevent a bacterial infection.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell your provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.


  • Wear mouth devices as directed. Mouth devices include mouth or bite guards, splints, and jaw orthotics. These devices can help your jaw heal properly and prevent teeth grinding or clenching.
  • Do jaw exercises as directed. Jaw exercises help relieve bone and muscle pain and improve jaw movement. A physical therapist will teach you how to do these exercises.
  • Apply ice on your jaw for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
  • Care for your wound as directed. Do not remove the bandage unless your surgeon says it is okay. Carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed.
  • Eat soft foods , liquid, or pureed foods as directed. This will help limit movement of your jaw while it heals.
  • Do not smoke. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause lung damage and slow healing. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.

Follow up with your doctor or surgeon as directed:

You may need to return to have your procedure area checked or stitches removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© Copyright Merative 2022 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.