TMJ Lysis and Lavage


Immediate following the procedure expect some swelling. Continued profuse swelling is not normal and should be brought to the attention of the doctor. All swelling should peak by the 3rd post op day and should subside by the next week or so. Rapid or extreme swelling is not a normal occurrence. Sometimes it can be from the irrigation fluid used to wash out your joint but this is usually apparent immediately after the procedure. Extreme swelling that occurs after you go home in the first 24 hours may be a sign of a hematoma, please apply direct firm pressure to the area and call our office or seek medical attention. Extreme swelling that begins 48-72 hours or later accompanied by fever or redness may be a sign of infection. Although this is very rare, please call our office and/or seek medical attention.


Expect some discomfort. This should be alleviated with NSAIDS such as Advil and Aleve, however, we will usually provide a prescription of pain medicine. We recommend taking 600 mg of Ibuprofen first to see if this is enough to alleviate the pain. If not, you can also take 5 to 10 mg of hydrocodone or oxycondone. If this makes you nauseated you can take 600 mg of Ibuprofen and 500 mg of Tylenol at the same time as long as neither one of these medicines are not contraindicated as per the package insert. Remember the maximum amount of Tylenol in a 24 hour period is now 3000 mg and most pain medications have some amount of Tylenol in them as well. Avoid Ibuprofen or other NSAIDS if allergic, gastritis, or stomach ulcers. Remember if you feel you are not supposed to take a medication or have any questions please seek medical advice from your physician, pharmacist, and/or by reading a package insert.


Bleeding should be minimal. You can remove the band aid the next day. If extreme or continued bleeding please call our office or seek medical attention.


You may have some numbness of the entire side of your face but this should subside. Also, you may temporarily have some weakness of the same side of the face as we were working. This may be due to the local anesthetic we used to numb the face and joint. It will wear off as the local does.


Allow your jaw to rest for the remainder of the day. The following day begin to stretch your opening by using your hands and not your muscles of your jaw. This may make your muscles more sore than they might already be.

Find a physiologic rest position for your lower jaw. This is that relaxed position of your lower jaw that someone has when they are watching a good movie and the jaw is just hanging and the muscles are at rest. This is how your jaw should be all the time except when speaking and eating. Our teeth should not touch very much at all. Please do not allow your teeth to touch when swallowing. Instead place your tongue behind the front two top teeth and brace your jaw with your tongue rather than your teeth when swallowing.


Your diet will be a soft and nearly none chew. We don’t want to over work the joint at this point and we want the muscles to rest.

Night guard

Wear you TMJ splint if you have one made and it fits. If it does not fit or you do not have one, please contact your dentist or TMJ dentist to make you one. We can and will contact them for you if you would like.


You can shower and bathe as usual. You can brush your teeth and resume your normal oral hygiene routine.

Follow up

We will see you in 2-3 weeks for a follow up appointment unless you feel you need to see us sooner. Feel free to call us if you have any questions.