Why Is My Mouth Opening A Little Tight After Chin Dimple Correction?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I just had my cleft chin reduction surgery on this past Thursday October 11th. I’m having a difficult time opening my mouth and am wondering if this is normal after this kind of procedure. It feels like there is some kind of resistance on the left side of my jaw (which is the same side of my mouth where fat was taken from) whenever I try to open my mouth past an inch or so. It doesn’t hurt, it just pulls.

A: What you are experiencing is perfectly normal. For your chin cleft correction a small buccal fat graft was harvested through a small incision high in the maxillary vestibule. This requires going through the buccinator muscle and then closing the incision with a few dissolveable sutures. This will definitely make in the first few weeks a sensation of tightness when opening your mouth widely. That is because the intraoral mucosa and buccinator muscle stretch when opening and now  have a little constriction. This is a temporary minor problem which will be self-solving in a few weeks.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana