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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Arthroscopic TMJ is surgery to remove extra tissue from your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that prevents your jaw from working properly. Caregivers use a small, bendable tube with a camera on the end to see inside your jaw and remove the extra tissue.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
- Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
- NSAIDs: These medicines decrease swelling, pain, and fever. You can buy NSAIDs without a doctor's order. Ask your primary healthcare provider which medicine is right for you, and how much to take. Take as directed. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems if not taken correctly.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him 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.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or surgeon as directed:
You will need to return to have your stitches removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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.
- Use heat and ice: Heat helps decrease pain and muscle spasms. Ice relieves swelling and pain. Apply heat on the area for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours for as many days as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on your jaw for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed.
- Care for your wound: Carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty. Do not remove your bandage unless your primary healthcare provider says it is okay.
- Jaw exercises: Jaw exercises help relieve bone and muscle pain and improve jaw movement. A physical therapist will teach you how to do these exercises.
- Eat soft foods: You may be limited to foods that you do not need to chew until your jaw heals. Soft foods include liquids and pureed foods. Ask your primary healthcare provider which foods are best for you during your recovery.
- Do not smoke: If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking can slow down healing after surgery. Ask your primary healthcare provider for information if you need help quitting.
Contact your primary healthcare provider or surgeon if:
- 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.
- The symptoms of your TMJ problem return, such as jaw clicking, locking, and pain.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have pain that does not go away even after you take pain medicine.
- You have trouble moving the muscles in your face.
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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.