What Can I Eat After Getting Jaw Angle Implants?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am going to have jaw angle implants in the next few weeks. I had a couple of questions for you for after the procedures.  I was wondering what my limitations will be in terms of food. I’m assuming chewing will be difficult so I wanted to prepare things to eat in advance for the first week or so after surgery. I don’t know if I will be on an all liquid diet for a while or if Iwill be able to eat soft foods (mashed potatoes, soup, jello, etc). I also have 2 big boxes of Boost just in case. Please let me know.

A: Your questions about eating are good ones as the jaw angle implants will cause some initial limitation in mouth opening due to masseter muscle trismus. That will take about 2 to 3 weeks before returning to normal. You can really eat anything you want as I don’t place any patient on restrictions, but realistically it will not be a normal diet initially. Soft foods and protein supplements like Boost are good suggestions.  You will find out quickly that cutting up solid foods into smaller bites will bypass the need for any substantial amount of chewing. Fortunately this phase is fairly short and the worst is over in 7 to 10 days after surgery.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana