Day 30: Scar Tissue, Sensitive Teeth, and Jaw Exercises

I cannot believe it has been one month since my surgery! Where has the time gone? I started reading from the beginning of my blog and it is kind of surreal reading about the dreaded week one of recovery as it was only three weeks ago and yet at the same time it seems an eon ago!

In light of my one month mark, I decided to present my biggest smile yet! :) As you can see, it is not really a smile, more of a menacing grimace, especially with the short hair cut I received today which now makes my head look huge! I fear my smile will be the same for a while due to the swelling. Still, happy anniversary to me! :)

I had another appointment with Dr. Egbert (Oral Surgeon) today to make sure everything is going OK; the good news is that I was a good boy last week and did not used my jaws to talk and instead I did what I was told and talked through my teeth. Granted, this may have had something to do with the fact that he banded me completely shut but regardless, I have decided to take the credit!

I had a few questions for him (I make a list as the week progresses) as it relates to the timetable moving forward as I will only see him for another fortnight before returning to my Orthodontia work so I need to get all my questions answered now!

The supporting wire that my Orthodontist put in last week seems to be loose as it constantly moving up and down. Dr. Egbert said that it needs to be more secure as he doesn't want anything to be moving so I have another appointment tomorrow at the Orthodontist . . .

Yesterday, I wrote about biting my cheek and apparently it is not my cheek per se that I am biting but rather I am biting on scar tissue as a result of the surgery. Apparently it takes three or so weeks for scar tissue to harden and so what he is having me do is to use a wet gauze pad, fold it, and then press the gauze pad down against the scar tissue which happens to be between my teeth and my cheek. By doing this, the scar tissue learns to stay in the place that it is pushed into. So basically, when I have my bands off, I now have a gauze pad stuck between my teeth and cheeks. I could pass as Marlon Brando in the Godfather. . .

The Doc. now wants me to start jaw exercises so that my jaw can open to its normal position. So twice a day, when my bands are out, he wants to me to try and first of all get both of my index fingers in to my mouth (either side of my mouth) without touching any teeth. If I can do that, I then try to get my thumbs in my mouth without touching any teeth. Sounds easy really. My index fingers were no problem, my thumbs less so. The result? Aching jaw joints! :)

In terms of chewing, not allowed for another fortnight or so and therefore I am still on my soft food diet. This is fine by me as honestly, I am not at all looking forward to learn to chew again. The bands get to stay on in their present position but I now can take them off four times a day for two hours each time. How great is that?!

My teeth, especially the last few weeks, have been really sensitive to anything cold and prior to surgery I did not suffer from sensitive teeth whatsoever. In fact, I would have ice in all of my drinks so you can imagine the issue.

My surgeon said that sensitive teeth post-surgery are directly related to the numbness around your chin and mouth area. Once the nerves start repairing themselves and they start tingling (my lips are presently in that state and they are driving my crazy!) then the nerves affect your teeth roots and teeth and hence the sensitivity. Perfectly normal I was told and not to worry as the teeth will lose their sensitivity over time. Sidenote: I hear that expression, over time, a lot with this surgery :)

He said the only thing to do to help alleviate the sensation was to use a toothpaste like Sensodyne - he gave me a sample so we will see how well it works!

That is about it really for the day! I need to post all of the things I am learning in the FAQ section above and I will do so in the next few days.

Update: The Orthodontist called and said that I do not need to have the wire tightened after all. Dr. Egbert and my Ortho spoke and they agreed that it will be OK until I see My Ortho in a fortnight. . . . Good, one less appointment! :)

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8 Responses to “Day 30: Scar Tissue, Sensitive Teeth, and Jaw Exercises”

  1. Once the scar tissue hardens, will it hurt or annoy to hit it? I never thought much about the scar tissue. Did he give any other insight on that?

  2. I hadn't given much though to it either as it happens. My surgeon told me that once it [scar tissue] has been 'pushed' back in place that it will learn to stay there. I will not be able to feel it once it is hardened and it *should* not bother me again!

    After just one day of pushing it back, I can already feel it not protruding as much. It does hurt to actually push it and hold it in place however :)

    1. Thanks, mate. How much scar tissue is there? I've heard of people having uneven faces after surgery--I wonder if this is due to scar tissue building up certain areas more than others? Do you know how thick the tissue is, and if it can distort the face like that? Thanks!

  3. Hi I have similar sensitivity issue and I have waited almost now 2 months but still it's present, how long it took for you

  4. Been four months for me. Can your scaring sometimes get tender and do you still get aching jaw pains? Also I still can’t open my mouth fully.

  5. Hi, I am 7 weeks post op and biting my cheek, er scar tissue too. It's in the very back and it's sore. Feels like a sore muscle knot almost. I've tried wax but it's not enough. I've been searching the internet all night and thankfully happened upon your blog. I will try the wet gauze trick! Thank you!!!!!!

  6. Wax was definitely not a good solution - Good,luck with the gauze, it definitely worked for me :)

  7. Hi, John, thanks for sharing your post surgery experience. I had double jaw surgery 11 days ago. I have a same issue as you. My chin is numb and tingling everyday which drive me crazy, which feels like ants creeping on my face. I just want to ask you how long it lasts in your case? Thanks!