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Oral Surgery/Post-Op Benign Cyst Removal

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Question
An oral/maxillofacial surgeon removed what he called a large  benign cyst/tumor on my lower jaw in his office six days ago. Pain was/is minimal.  The swelling peaked at 3-4 days (golf ball sized) and has since gone down about 65-70%.  My question is I still can only open my jaw as wide as I could one day post-op and now it is day 6.  Is that usually normal?

Thank you for your time.

Answer
Karen - A problem with opening after the removal of the tumor on your lower jaw depends on the location of the tumor and the depth of the tumor in the bone.  If the tumor was towards the back of the jaw, the surgeon probably had to cut some of a jaw muscle to gain access to the tumor.  Because of this, the jaw muscles will go into spasm and that can restrict the opening of the jaw.

The best thing you can now do is to immediately begin a regimen of warm salt water rinses in the area of the tumor.  Do the rinsing daily 4-5 times a day for about 5-10 minutes.  That should help to begin to relax the muscles.  Depending on how much of the muscle was traumatized from the surgery, it could take at least a month to gain full function.  I would suggest, if you do not get significant opening within a couple of weeks, speak with the surgeon.

I wish you well and hope it all gets better soon.

Oral Surgery

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Volunteer


Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired

Expertise

I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon 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.

Experience

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

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

Education/Credentials
BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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