Physiotherapy Following Jaw Surgery

Before beginning your jaw exercises you must warm the face muscles with warm moist heat. It is best to use a warm wet face cloth, applied to each side of your face for 15 minutes before beginning the exercises.

It usually takes weeks to return to normal range of motion with your lower jaw. A good guide as to a good range of motion is being able to place two to three fingers of your hand into your open mouth.

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(Best done in front of a mirror)

Vertical opening motions: The tip of the tongue is placed on the roof of the mouth. Open and close your mouth slowly maintaining a straight midline jaw position.

Lateral excursion: With teeth slightly apart, slide your bottom jaw sideways to the right (using the borders of the teeth to limit the distance moved), return to centre, and then repeat the same process to the left.

Protrusive or gliding motion: With teeth slightly apart, slide your bottom jaw forward until your bottom teeth overlap in front of your top teeth.

Isometric jaw exercise: Put your finger under your chin and try to open your mouth against slight resistance. Open your mouth about a half-inch with your finger still pressed against the chin–then close.

Follow the instructions regarding frequency, duration and number of repetitions given by your Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon.