Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Third Post-op Checkup

At this checkup, they took the splint out and gave me looser elastics.  First they removed all the tight bands and asked me to open and close a few times to make sure my bite is stable.  With about 4 snips on the wires holding the splint in, it came out pretty easy.  No pain, no worries.  There was a lot of food stuck between my splint and my teeth, especially behind the front teeth, which I was allowed to brush to clean it out.  Part of the gums felt weird from not being exposed to air for 3 weeks and the gums between my last two molars were inflamed from being behind the splint.  The gum issues cleared up in a few days.  I was given loose rubber bands to wear from upper canine to lower molar to keep guiding my bite and preventing any sudden jerking of the jaw.  I thought that I would instantly be able to open my mouth after being unbanded, but I was surprised to find that I really couldn’t open at all.  This is because the jaw muscles haven’t been used and were tense from clenching for 3 weeks. 

Every day was an improvement in my ability to open my mouth.  It especially got better after sleeping, which I believe relaxed the muscles, allowing me to open wider and with less pain each day.  I used the heating pad often to try to relax the muscles during the day.  The pain was very similar to a pulled muscle. 

With the splint out, I was able to eat anything that could fit into my mouth without chewing.

Meatball blended in sauce
Mac and cheese lightly blended (basically like a pre-chewed consistency)
Alfredo noodles extra saucy
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Flan and Chocolate Mousse (made with whole milk)

Minus the splint