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Dentistry/cant open mouth after dental work


8weeks ago i had teeth on my lower right side including a wisdom tooth pulled by an oral surgen becase i had a bad infection also. After my mouth will not open. I went back several times and he just kept saying to put heat on it and it will open soon. I can only open it enough to fit my pinkie finger in and im not sure whats wrong.

Pete - By eight weeks the surgeon should have allowed your jaw to open at least 90%.  The heat can help, but in addition to heat to your face, you need to immediately begin warm salt water rinses for about 5 minutes 4-5 times a day.  The surgeon should also consider sending you to a physical therapist to relax and stretch those muscles that are restricted.  The longer the condition lasts the more difficult it is to get those muscles working correctly.  The doctor should also prescribe a muscle relaxing medication.  So get back to the doctor and ask him to refer you to a physical therapist.  Also ask for a muscle relaxing medication.

You need to insist that the doctor helps you.  By eight weeks the problem should have been resolved.  So ask for a referral and a muscle relaxer.  I wish you well and hope you are better soon.  If not, get back to me and tell me where you live and I will refer other board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons to evaluate you.


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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and I am available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicine for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor and State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA -University of Connecticut DMD - University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society (OKU), Philadelphia County Dental Society, Mosby Book Award, Oral Surgery Honors, Summa Cum Laude

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