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Face and Jaw Surgery

Jaw exercises following BSSO

05/12/2005

Question:

I had a BSSO 7 weeks ago. My mouth will open about 3 fingers wide. My oral surgeon never mentioned doing jaw exercises. Is there anything I can do to help my mouth open more? Also, how much longer can I expect my lower lip and chin to be numb? I keep biting my bottom lip when I eat and it is getting very swollen. I am a 43 year old female. Thanks!

Answer:

In terms of your opening, 7 weeks after surgery, you are doing better than most.  Slow passive stretching of your muscles 4 or 5 times a day is all you need to do to help you improve even further. 

Regarding the numbness of the chin and lip, that typically takes anywhere from 10 to 12 weeks to resolve (this is an average).  There are patients who can take up to 12 months to go back to normal, and there are a few who have a residual loss of sensation for the rest of their lives.

For more information:

Go to the Face and Jaw Surgery health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Guillermo  E Chacon, DDS Guillermo E Chacon, DDS
Formerly:
Associate Professor of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University